Gustav von Aschenbach
- An aging writer, honorable, fastidious, and repressed, of high public status in Germany. He travels to Venice and stays in a hotel where the beautiful boy Tadzio is also a guest. As he gives way to his repressed sexuality and falls in love with Tadzio while embracing beauty and the sensual side of art, he also abandons morality and dignity, abandoning himself to passion, decadence, and ultimately death.
- An intensely beautiful Polish boy of about fourteen. He stays with his mother, sisters, and governess at the same hotel in Venice as Gustav von Aschenbach. Tadzio is pure and innocent but also aware of Aschenbach's interest in him.
- Tadzio's closest companion at the hotel. He seems to idolize Tadzio, acting as his "vassal." Jashu has glossy black hair, a sturdy build, and a rowdy temperament, serving as a polar opposite to Tadzio.