Death in Venice Part Five: The Smile of Tadzio

Thomas Mann

Part Five: The Smile of Tadzio

New Characters:
Socrates & Phaedrus: both are present only in the imagination of Aschenbach

Summary
Having finally admitted his disreputable infatuation to himself, Aschenbach begins to center his life more and more around the boy, whom he constantly watches. He unpacks completely and settles in for an extended stay. Sometimes Aschenbach imagines himself as the aged Socrates and the boy as his pupil Phaedrus, to whom he discourses on the philosophy of love. As Socrates, Aschenbach tells Phaedrus that the lover is more divine than the beloved since only the lover has divine inspiration. For some time, Aschenbach remains torn between his obsession with the boy and occasional reproaches of his...

(The entire section is 1796 words.)