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Joseph von Eichendorff - "the Marble Statue" Summary - Summary of the Marble Statue

Updated on August 16, 2013

the Marble Statue (Eichendorff)


Summary of the Marble Statue (by Joseph von Eichendorff)

The young man Florio arrives at a town called Lucca in Italy. There, he meets his idol. He’s called Fortunato, who is a happy man and who sings a lot.

Florio goes to a park, where he sees many beautiful impressions and amongst all these impressions, people, flowers and so on; there is a young tender girl, but he doesn’t have the nerves to approach her. Then, some people accumulate around a singer, who turns out to be his idol, Fortunato. He listens to his singing and playing and they all go in a tent, where they have a party (festival).

They have fun and later, they play a game. Everyone has to sing a song which is devoted to someone and then, they have to kiss this person. Typically, it’s a man who sings and kisses a girl or a woman afterwards. Florio happens to be very lucky, because the girl, who he saw earlier the same day, sits right next to him. When it’s Florio’s turn, he sings a nice song and takes advantage of the opportunity and kisses the girl, whose name is Bianka. The singer Fortunato sings a deeper song that foreshadows coming events in the book.

Later, a black knight arrives, who sticks out from the masses. Not only is he black, but also his social appearance make him to an awkward person.

The persons vanish and Florio is left alone with Fortunato and the dark knight, whose name is Donati. For Florio, this is quite weird to be left with those two guys. The black knight offers to accompany them back to hostel. He goes with them for a while, but his horse starts to behave weirdly and they have to part. Fortunato is very relieved that he has vanished, because he felt very uncomfortable with him. Arrived at their hostel, they go to their respective rooms.

Florio can’t fall asleep for a long time and goes out in the night, where he sings a song. He walks for a while in the woods and suddenly, at a lake, he sees a marble statue of the goddess Venus, which mesmerizes him more than anything. He goes back to his room, quite disturbed.

The next morning, he eats breakfast with Fortunato. He goes alone into the town and walks and walks and goes through the latest happenings mentally. He doesn’t realize at first that he doesn’t know, where he’s going exactly and finds himself in a garden, somewhere out in the woods. He hears a lady singing, who seems not to take any notice of the hidden listener. The woman looks very much like the marble statue.

Florio is invited to another party by his new friend Fortunato. At night, they go to the place. The masked ball becomes more and more surreal to Florio. All of his attention goes to a Greek girl, but he can’t really see her face, because of the mask. Suddenly, he sees the exact same girl at the other end of the room and Florio is quite confused. Later, when they all go home, he has the opportunity to see her face and it’s the beautiful lady, who he saw in the garden! She says to him that she’ll be glad to see her in her home soon. Their common friend should bring him to this place, who is the black knight Donati.

Some days pass before Donati shows him the way to the house. It’s a palace, nearly, which has similarities with a heathenish temple. The palest like domicile is made completely of marble.

In a room, he sees the mysterious beauty, they speak together and he’s seduced by her appearance. Outside, there’s a storm going on, which is coming nearer and nearer. Florio is at a window and sees a storm coming and when he looks down at the wall, there’s a snake coming towards him, which frightens Florio a lot. The room, which they are in, starts to become very weird and the woman becomes more and more lifeless, like a statue. Florio is very afraid of this scene. He also thinks that he hears someone sing outside on the lake, but he is too confused to think properly. Swiftly, he leaves the place and the farther he gets the more normal nature becomes.

He finally leaves the town, because of his loyal servant, who said it would be the best to leave this place. On the road, he approaches three other horsemen. It’s Fortunato, Bianka’s uncle and a young boy, who remains silent the whole time. Florio joins them. From far away, they see ruins. These ruins used to be a temple for the goddess Venus, where still is a marble statue of her. It was the same place, where he saw the beautiful woman and where he also visited her the night before. For this occasion, Fortunato knows a song, which he sings.
Florio realizes that the man, who supposedly is Bianka’s uncle, is in face, Bianka! He tells her that he never ever wants to part from her, that she is his true love. And happily, they went down to Milan.

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Joseph von Eichendorff – The Marble Statue

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© 2013 Slaven Cvijetic


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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Thank you for that! really helped clarify.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Well done


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