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Description
Genres

Elegy: Description

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Not to be confused with eulogy.

In literature, an elegy is a mournful, melancholic or plaintive poem, especially a funeral song or a lament for the dead.

Contents

History

The Greek term elegeia (ἐλεγεία) originally referred to any verse written in elegiac couplets and covering a wide range of subject matter, including epitaphs for tombs. The Latin elegy of ancient Roman literature was most often erotic or mythological in nature. Because of its structural potential for rhetorical effects, the elegiac couplet was also used by both Greek and Roman poets for witty, humorous, and satiric subject matter.

Other than epitaphs, examples of ancient elegy as a poem of mourning include Catullus' Carmen 101, on his dead brother, and elegies by Propertius on his dead mistress Cynthia and a matriarch of the prominent Cornelian family. Ovid wrote elegies bemoaning his exile, which he likened to a death. A notable example that established the genre in English literature is Thomas Gray's Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard (1750).

"Elegy" (sometimes spelled elégie) may denote a type of musical work, usually of a sad or somber nature.

Literature

Music

Painting

Film, TV

See also

References

  • Casey, Brian (2007). "Genres and Styles," in Funeral Music Genres: With a Stylistic/Topical Lexicon and Transcriptions for a Variety of Instrumental Ensembles. University Press, Inc.. 
  • Cavitch, Max (2007). American Elegy: The Poetry of Mourning from the Puritans to Whitman. University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 081664893X. 
  • Ramazani, Jahan (1994). Poetry of Mourning: The Modern Elegy from Hardy to Heaney. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226703401. 
  • Sacks, Peter (1987). The English Elegy: Studies in the Genre from Spenser to Yeats. Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0801834716. 


This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Elegy". Allthough most Wikipedia articles provide accurate information accuracy can not be guaranteed.


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