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Exploring Arab Folk Literature$
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Pierre Cachia

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780748640867

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748640867.001.0001

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Social Values Reflected in Egyptian Popular Ballads

Social Values Reflected in Egyptian Popular Ballads

(p.191) 16 Social Values Reflected in Egyptian Popular Ballads
Exploring Arab Folk Literature

Pierre Cachia

Edinburgh University Press

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

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