In the Middle English Romance, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Sir Gawain is offered a challenge to strike his opponent, the Green Knight, and then to receive a return blow a year later. The challenge and the consequences of Gawain’s actions, when considered through the lens of Arnold van Gennep’s Rites of Passage (as well as some of the sources that informed van Gennep’s study), highlight aspects of the ritual process. These elements include a magico‐religious fraternity, receiving of (and being received as) a stranger in a new environment, vegetation rites, covenant pledges and separation and inclusion rituals. The text of Gawain demonstrates that he undertakes a form of pre‐liminal testing in hostile terrains, while the Green Knight’s second test represents liminal testing and transition, and Gawain returns to Camelot for a postliminal rite of incorporation.
|Title of host publication||The Rites of Passage Time after Time|
|Editors||Adina Hulubas, Ioana Repciuc|
|Place of Publication||Isai|
|Publisher||Alexandru Ioan Cuza University Press|
|Number of pages||17|
|Publication status||Published - 23 Dec 2016|
- Green Knight
- separation and inclusion ritual
- vegetation rites
- covenant pledges.