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Death in Venice | Chapter Summaries

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Timeline of Events

  • Late 1800s

    Gustav von Aschenbach denies his sensuality to become a revered author.

    Chapter 2
  • Early May, c. 1911

    Aschenbach yearns to take a break from his work and vacation in an exotic locale.

    Chapter 1
  • Three weeks later

    Aschenbach checks into a hotel on the Lido in Venice.

    Chapter 3
  • Hours later

    Aschenbach sees Tadzio and becomes enamored with the boy's beauty.

    Chapter 3
  • Days later

    For health reasons, Aschenbach plans to leave Venice, but stays when his luggage is lost.

    Chapter 3
  • Hours later

    Aschenbach realizes he wants to stay in Venice because of Tadzio.

    Chapter 3
  • Days later

    Aschenbach idolizes Tadzio as a god of beauty, which inspires him to write.

    Chapter 4
  • Next day

    Aschenbach plans to introduce himself to Tadzio, but decides not to.

    Chapter 4
  • Weeks later

    Tadzio smiles at Aschenbach. The flustered writer thinks, "I love you."

    Chapter 4
  • End of June

    Ignoring rumors of an epidemic, Aschenbach becomes obsessed with Tadzio and stalks him.

    Chapter 5
  • Weeks later

    An Englishman tells Aschenbach cholera has hit Venice.

    Chapter 5
  • Hours later

    Aschenbach decides not to warn Tadzio and his family about the cholera.

    Chapter 5
  • Hours later

    Aschenbach has a nightmare in which he feels overwhelmed by his sensual, chaotic instincts.

    Chapter 5
  • Days later

    Disregarding how he appears to people, Aschenbach wears makeup to attract Tadzio.

    Chapter 5
  • Days later

    Aschenbach becomes panicked and overheated when he loses sight of Tadzio in Venice.

    Chapter 5
  • Days later

    Aschenbach sees Tadzio beckoning on the beach; he tries to follow but collapses and dies.

    Chapter 5

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Chapter 1 During the year described as 19— (probably 1911), the elderly Gustav von Aschenbach takes a walk alone in Munich, German... Read More
Chapter 2 The reader learns that Gustav von Aschenbach's father was a legal official, and his mother was the daughter of a Bohemia... Read More
Chapter 3 Gustav von Aschenbach leaves Munich for Pola, a town on the Adriatic, where he plans to spend his vacation. Pola disappo... Read More
Chapter 4 At his hotel on the Lido, Gustav von Aschenbach follows a casual routine, which involves enjoying the beach and taking d... Read More
Chapter 5 Gustav von Aschenbach notices the tourists at his hotel are decreasing at a time of the year when they usually increase.... Read More
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