Death in Venice

Death in Venice Question #4:

Discuss the importance of mythological for understanding the Death in Venice.

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Mann focused on degeneracy in his work, and is famously quoted as stating that during the twentieth century, Western civilization would fall as civilized men fell prety to their "Dionysian urges." Dionysus, also known as Bacchus, is the Greek god of drunkenness and hedonism, and was usually depicted as a drunken half-man half-goat surrounded by dancing half-naked youths. His lower half consisting of a goat's body refers to his unrepressed sexual desire. Von Aschenbach's final dream/vision before his death is a markedly Dionysian orgy, and the arrival of the "strangergod" is Dionysus himself, who was based on earlier gods in the Eastern tradition (hence the "stranger").


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