Gilbert, Jan.

“The Lamentable Loss of Alhama in "Paseábase el rey moro.” The Modern Language Review 100.4 (Oct., 2005): 1000-1014

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Article: journal 2005 gilbert2005

This article studies three versions of a medieval Spanish ballad which relates Muslim reaction to the Christians' capture of Alhama. It explores how various motifs of loss, such as the association of death and writing, and beard-plucking, as well as motifs of luxury and prophecy, are employed in the ballad to question the masculinity and comment on the otherness of the Muslim King. Through an analysis of the ballad's treatment of loss, the article demonstrates that La pérdida de Alhama may be read as fomenting in the contemporary audience not so much a feeling of compassion for the devastated Muslim as one of Christian pride in his defeat, acknowledgement of his weakness, and, as a corollary, recognition of the Christians' strength as both rulers and combatants.







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