While out for a walk in Munich, Aschenbach sees a mysterious red-haired, foreign-looking man. The man looks directly at Aschenbach, and inexplicably awakens in him a desire to travel to faraway, exotic places. It is unclear whether the man really exists, or is a delirious vision of Aschenbach’s. In either case, he can be seen as standing in for some of the repressed part of Aschenbach’s personality, an embodiment of Aschenbach’s inner desires for travel, foreignness, and exoticness.
The timeline below shows where the character The Red-Haired Man appears in Death in Venice. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.