Social Values Reflected in Egyptian Popular Ballads

Pierre Cachia

in Exploring Arab Folk Literature

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780748640867
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653300 | DOI:
Social Values Reflected in Egyptian Popular Ballads

Show Summary Details


This chapter focuses on the social values found in Egyptian popular ballads, and their moralising and philosophising effects. One of the most celebrated values in ballads is that of a man of honour and unlimited physical courage. In such ballads, the theme of umda surfaces as the core element. Another social value that pervades ballads is the theme of love. Most of the ballads are concerned with elemental human forces operating within a framework of long-established and virtually unquestioned priorities. It seems to be assumed that in any situation the right course will be immediately and glaringly obvious to the hero, to the narrator, to the audience, to any right-thinking, noble-minded person. Suspense and tension are created entirely by the obstructions that bar the hero's path and make the pursuit of the right course costly.

Keywords: Egyptian popular ballads; values; honour; social value; love; physical courage; umda

Chapter.  6003 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.