This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Essay On Art As A Reflection Of Life In Death In Venice

1216 words - 5 pages

Art as a Reflection of Life in Death in Venice

 
  Death in Venice explores the relationship between an artist, namely Gustave von Aschenbach, and the world in which he lives. Aschenbach, destined to be an artist from a young age, represents art, while his surroundings represent life.

As the story unfolds, Aschenbach endeavors on a journey in an attempt to relinquish his position in society as an artist. Aschenbach wants to experience life, as opposed to merely reflecting upon it, as he has done for so many years. This attempted change of lifestyle can also be interpreted as a transition from the ways of Apollo to those of Dionysus, an archetype dating back to Nietzsche's Birth of Tragedy. Aschenbach's journey throughout Death in Venice can be seen as an artist's attempt to live life free from artistic interpretations. In the end, however, Aschenbach fails and his death shows that art is transient. Because of Aschenbach's failure to step down from his position as an artist and to become a part of life, it can be concluded that art is purely a reflection of life.

Aschenbach's journey commences upon his encountering a stranger on a portico. "He was obviously not Bavarian." (Mann, 4) Aschenbach, never having ventured far from home, is intrigued by this foreigner who fails to give him the respect and reverence that he is used to as a renowned artist. For the first time in his life, Aschenbach is challenged. "So now, perhaps, feeling, thus tyrannized, avenged itself by leaving him, refusing from now on to carry and wing his art and taking away with it all the ecstasy he had known in form and expression." (Mann, 7) Aschenbach, acknowledging the challenge, resolves to travel. The new territory upon which he is to embark, the way to the south, is described through imagery of tropical wilderness contrasted with a northern cemetery.

Aschenbach's resolution to travel is not described by the author as a voluntary act, but instead portrayed his destiny. Mann writes, Aschenbach "regarded travel as a necessary evil." (Mann, 6) His life had been filled with order, austerity, and isolation, essentially elements of an Apollonian lifestyle. Due to the regularity and predictability of his previous life, Aschenbach's decision to travel can be interpreted as an act of fate, thereby making the man on the portico a messenger. Upon being summoned by the messenger, Aschenbach's first destination is Trieste, a word meaning "sad" in French. Appropriately enough, this concurs with Aschenbach's outlook towards his upcoming travel.

The next event of Aschenbach's twist of fate takes place on the small boat ferrying him to Venice. While onboard, Aschenbach takes note of an elderly man not acting his age. Mann writes, "But the young-old man was a truly repulsive sight in the condition to which his company with youth had brought him." (Mann, 19) Seeing a drunken old man passing away the time with the youth is not what disgusted Aschenbach. On the contrary,...

Find Another Essay On Essay on Art as a Reflection of Life in Death in Venice

Life and Death in Art Essay

962 words - 4 pages Cultures through time have had a connection with the spiritual world. Many of these cultures had a strong fascination with life and death. In addition, these cultures also had belief relating to an afterlife. This fascination is seen in the art, sculpture and architecture of these cultures. Many cultures during both the ancient and classical periods had an interest with death and with preparation for the afterlife. One such culture that had

Reflection of Life in the 1500's in The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

645 words - 3 pages William Shakespeare is best known for writing tragedies, comedies, and romances, such as Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet. Shakespeare usually wrote all his plays on his personal life experiences. In the year 1585 Shakespeare began to take control of his own life and get his work out to the world. One of his most famous books Merchant of Venice portrayed the way people lived in the 1500’s and how people were treated. Jessica, Shylock’s only

Essay on Antonio in The Merchant Of Venice

1104 words - 4 pages , which  will be passed on to Lorenzo at Shylock's death and Shylock must leave  everything he owns in his will to Jessica and Lorenzo. The final  condition was that Shylock becomes a Christian.            These events gave Antonio a new view of life. The final  revelation in Antonio's character is seen. From the 'suicidal' man  filled with sadness and sorrow Antonio is reformed

A Personal Reflection on the Liminal Spaces in Life

2194 words - 9 pages the period you find that there is a twist in the plot. Change happens through liminal space, which is the period of alteration and transformation. The word, liminal means “threshold”. It can relate to a transition from childhood to adulthood, the time between wounded and healing, the transition from life to death. From personal experience, I can say I went through a period of liminality. Liminality to me included me transitioning from one culture

A World of Death in Life

2003 words - 9 pages without pause, our organ systems would become enlarged and we as an unified organism would die. Therefore, our cells commit suicide on a regular basis via programmed cell death, more commonly referred to as apoptosis. However, cell necrosis is another death system in the body which is a foil to apoptosis due to its irregularity. Each death system has its own purposes in the body, and the interruptions of these small deaths can ultimately lead to

Shakespeare's Scenes:A Glimpse into the Life of an Artist as exemplified in <A Midsummer Night's Dream> and <The Merchant of Venice>. By Andrew Scott

2381 words - 10 pages Venice.It is often asserted that art is a reflection of life, both of which are centred on a single constant of change. As an artist adapts to new or developing circumstances, his work becomes a mirror of that adaptation inasmuch as his views, perceptions, and/or outlooks are interminably altered. One sees the artist grow through his enduring of difficult circumstances, and William Shakespeare is no different.Works CitedAbrams, M. H., ed. The Norton

The Triumph of Disaster in Thomas Mann's Death in Venice

1971 words - 8 pages Triumph of Disaster in Death in Venice  As Death in Venice begins, Gustav von Aschenbach, the distinguished author of Munich, goes for a stroll on a May afternoon. While waiting for the train back home, he spots a man ahead of him, a man by whom he is intrigued. Defiantly, even fiercely, the angular face of the man returns Aschenbach's gaze. Aschenbach quickly turns away from the stranger, who soon disappears. Whether it was the

The Character of Shylock as a Victim or Villain in The Merchant of Venice

2740 words - 11 pages The Character of Shylock as a Victim or Villain in The Merchant of Venice Do you consider the character of shylock to be a victim or villain in the play The Merchant of Venice? Shylock is one of the most interesting, memorable and debated characters in the play “The Merchant of Venice”. In many ways this is because he is both a victim and a villain. Shylock was made a laughing stock of and is ridiculed by the

1.The Merchant of Venice as a Tragicomedy. 2. The justification of Shylock's actions in 'The Merchant of Venice'. 3.The contrast between Belmont and Venice in 'The Merchant of Venice'

2295 words - 9 pages interest that is beyond the scope of the play.Shylock is a wealthy Jewish moneylender in Venice. He lends Antonio three thousand ducats on the promise that if it is not repaid, the forfeiture shall be a pound of Antonio's flesh. By placing a pound of flesh as collateral, Shylock is able to envision his revenge all too clearly. By eliminating Antonio, Shylock will not only fuel his thirst for vengeance but would also eliminate his leading competition

Death In Venice: The Power Of The Unconscious Mind

1003 words - 4 pages The Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud suggested that the powers motivating man and woman are that mainly of the unconscious. By the power of dreams, a person?s repressed mind comes out in the unconscious. Freud believed that actions in dreams are those that are not rationally accepted by the conscious mind, and therefore the unconscious mind acts as a censor. In Gustav von Aschenbach?s dreams in Death in Venice by Thomas Mann, his thoughts

Essay on the Artist as Hero in A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man

1313 words - 5 pages The Artist as Hero in A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man        A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man by James Joyce is a partly autobiographical account of the author's life growing up.  The novel chronicles the process through which the main character, Stephen, struggles against authority and religious doctrine to develop his own philosophies on life.  Stephen is not necessarily rebelling against God and his father as much as he

Similar Essays

Essay On Relationship Between Art And Life In Death In Venice

1416 words - 6 pages Relationship between Art and Life Explored in Death in Venice      The novella Death in Venice by Thomas Mann examines the nature of the relationship between art and life. The progression of the main character, Gustave Von Aschenbach, illustrates the concept of an Apollinian/Dionysian continuum. Apollo is the Greek god of art, thus something Apollinian places an emphasis on form. Dionysus is the Greek god of wine and chaos, hence something

The Art Of Decadence In The City Of Venice: Death In Venice

2455 words - 10 pages meet the awe-struck eye of the approaching seafarer” (19). The obvious pleasure that Aschenbach feels as a result of the aesthetically pleasing city foreshadows how aestheticism will ultimately lead to his death and decay, important ideas within the context of decadence. Naomi Ritters wrote a critical essay of Mann’s Death in Venice which is clearly structured around the idea of decadence. One of the fact she points out in her essay is the city is

Essay On Death And Love In The Merchant Of Venice

1686 words - 7 pages awe at the willingness of this man to die. Of course he will do everything in his power to rescue this him from death. Of course he values Antonio above life, the world, his wife. There is no question in his mind as to how much he will sacrifice for Antonio now. Wives are replaceable, but a friend like this must not be lost for anything.   All this talk of sacrifice in the name of love is enough to make one feel extremely guilty for

Essay On Art In A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man

1578 words - 6 pages a complete rejection of everything his society represents. Dedalus (thus also Joyce) has a split vision. His view of art is Romantic, but his view of the role of the artist is Realistic. The Romantic View of Art The Platonic-Romantic aspect of Dedalus' esthetic philosophy is apparent in his reference to Plato, whose idea of beauty and truth as translated by Dedalus, sounds much like the famous last lines of Keats's "Ode on a Grecian