International Journal of
English and Literature

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. English Lit.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2626
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJEL
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 276

Full Length Research Paper

The Imapct of muwshah and zajal on troubadours poetry

Ziad Ali Alharthi*
  • Ziad Ali Alharthi*
  • Faculty of Sciences and Arts/Khulais, University of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, P. O. Box 80123, Jeddah, 21589 Saudi Arabia.
  • Google Scholar
Abdulhafeth Ali Khrisat
  • Abdulhafeth Ali Khrisat
  • Department of English and Translation, Faculty of Sciences and Arts/Khulais, University of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 29 June 2016
  •  Accepted: 24 August 2016
  •  Published: 30 November 2016


The Spanish culture has been exposed to European and Arabic culture. The Arabs ruled Spain from the eighth to the fifteenth centuries. The Arab civilization has left a significant impact on Europe in general and in Spain in particular. This paper aims to examine the impact of the muwashah and zajal of Hispano-Arabic on the troubadours’ poetry in structure and themes, language and rhyme. In the field of poetry, the troubadours have resembled the Arab singers in structure and theme. These troubadours show their similarities with the Hispano-Arabic poetry in both form and content. Many characters in the troubadours poetry are found in the Hispano-Arabic poetry as “raqeeb” (guard), “hasid” (envious), “rasoul” (messenger between the two lovers), and “al-a’?thel” (lover). Themes that can be found in both the troubadours poetry and the Hispano-Arabic include love at the first sight, cruelty of the beloved, impact of true love on the lover’s condition, pain, suffering, weakness and sickness. New forms of poetry, muwashah and zajal are developed. Muwashah directly expresses the poet’s own thought and sentiments. In central Spain, the Spanish poets compose Arabic poem called “zajal” in a Hispanicized dialect. Zajal differs from muwashah in the rhyme scheme that runs often much longer than the five-strophe-length.

Key words: Hispano-Arabic poetry, muwashah, zajal, kharja, troubadours, Spain, Andalus, courtly love.