Death in Venice Questions and Answers
by Thomas Mann

Start Your Free Trial

Why is Death in Venice set in Venice?

Expert Answers info

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write11,032 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Venice is a dreamscape in which Aschenbach goes to die. The city symbolizes death, beauty, and decay. The following quote captures the mixture of dream ("fairytale"), decay ("art used to blossom . . . "), and death ("putrid atmosphere") of this city. Aschenbach sees Venice as, like death itself,

alluring and dubiously entrancing—this city, part fairy tale, part tourist trap, in the putrid atmosphere of which art used to blossom luxuriously and which had inspired musicians with lulling melodies . . .

Venice transports Aschenbach into a dream world in which he can engage in increasingly obsessive and idealized fantasies about a beautiful young boy he doesn't know—it is, as many critics have noted, a means for Aschenbach to escape from his prosaic, controlled home and into the Dionysian—the world of decadence and desire.

Venice is also Aschenbach's...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 430 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

accessteacher eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write13,728 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial