Death in Venice

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The Guitarist Character Analysis

The guitarist performs at Aschenbach’s hotel one night. He seems to have no self-restraint and entertains the audience by behaving ridiculously and vulgarly. In one performance, he and his fellow performers laugh hysterically until the audience also begins to laugh. He thus exemplifies the contagiousness of extreme emotions and a lack of self-restraint, something Aschenbach despises early in the novella, but later approaches himself. Aschenbach also asks the guitarist about the disease in Venice, but the guitarist tells him nothing.
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The Guitarist Character Timeline in Death in Venice

The timeline below shows where the character The Guitarist appears in Death in Venice. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
Repression, the Mind, and the Self Theme Icon
...of the performers, a kind of comedian, started an entertaining, popular guitar solo. Through the guitarist’s winks, suggestive gestures, and “licking the corners of his mouth licentiously,” the song became “salacious”... (full context)
Travel, Geography, and Climate Theme Icon
When the guitarist got to Aschenbach, Aschenbach asked him why Venice was being disinfected. The guitarist said it... (full context)
Repression, the Mind, and the Self Theme Icon
Beauty Theme Icon
Youth, Age, and Time Theme Icon
The guitarist gave one last performance with a refrain in which the whole performing troupe laughed hysterically.... (full context)