from "Death in Venice"
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As soon as von Aschenbach sets eyes on Tadzio, he associates him with, "Greek statuary of the noblest period." He begins to describe the boy as "beauty itself" and "form as the thought of God." Despite von Aschenbach's attempts to ennoble his love for Tadzio by putting it in the context of Greek philosophy, his reliance on the ideal of Platonic love is disingenuous. A prerequisite of the ideal relationship between a man and boy is that the man be the boy's mentor. Von Aschenbach is unable to speak to Tadzio, much less become his mentor.