literary genre

A genre of the troubadours, the planh or plaing (Old Occitan [ˈplaɲ]; "lament") is a funeral lament for "a great personage, a protector, a friend or relative, or a lady." Its main elements are expression of grief, praise of the deceased (eulogy) and prayer for his or her soul. It is descended from the medieval Latin planctuscode: lat promoted to code: la .The planh is similar to the sirventes in that both were typically contrafacta. They made use of existing melodies, often imitating the original song even down to the rhymes. The most famous planh of all, however, Gaucelm Faidit's lament on the death of King Richard the Lionheart in 1199, was set to original music.Elisabeth Schulze-Busacker identifies three types of planh: "the moralizing planh", in which the expression of grief is a point of departure for social criticism; "the true lament", in which personal grief is central; and "the courtly planh", in which the impact of the death on the court is emphasised. Alfred Jeanroy considered that the common denunciation of the evils of the present age was a feature that distinguished the planh from the planctuscode: lat promoted to code: la . In the conventions of the genre, the subject's death is announced by the simple words es mortz ("is dead"). By the 13th century, the placement of these words within the poem was fixed: it occurred in the seventh or eighth line of the first stanza. It is perhaps an indication of the sincerity of their grief that the troubadours rarely praised the successors of their patrons in the planh.There are forty-four surviving planhz. The earliest planh is that by Cercamon on the death of Duke William X of Aquitaine in 1137. The latest is an anonymous lament on the death of King Robert of Naples in 1343. The planh was regarded by contemporaries as a distinct genre and is mentioned in the Doctrina de compondre dictatz}} (1290s) and the Leys d'amors (1341).
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genre: planh



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