What is the relationship between Aschenbach and Tadzio in "Death in Venice"?

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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Aschenbach is a writer who comes across Tadzio and his family while in Venice.  He becomes obsessed with this young teenage boy who is beautiful, much like a Greek god in many ways.  Tadzio and Aschenbach exchange many glances over the course of their time  in Venice at the same resort; however, they do not exchange words. Aschenbach follows him until it becomes stalking, really.  His thoughts are consumed with Tadzio.  In many ways, Tadzio is much of a muse figure.  Aschenbach, though, is clearly sexually attracted to Tadzio and even whispers that he loves him at one point. The attraction is disturbing and fascinating to read about at the same time because the reader wants to find out what becomes of Aschenbach.  He, of course, ends up dying on the beach while watching Tadzio draw a figure upon the sand near the water.