According to the tales, Melot is jealous of Lancelot’s relationship with Guenevere and accuses them of adultery. Lancelot denies the accusation and challenges Melot to a trial by combat. However, during the fight, Melot is eventually assisted by other knights, including Agravain and Mordred, and they capture Lancelot and Guenevere. In Malory they are sentenced to death.
Melot’s role in the story is often interpreted as a symbol of the destructive force of envy and jealousy. He is also seen as a catalyst for the downfall of the Round Table, as his accusation sets in motion a series of events that ultimately lead to the fall of Camelot and the death of many of Arthur’s knights.
Melot’s appearance and characteristics are not well-defined in the original sources, but he is sometimes portrayed as a dwarf or a small knight. His role and significance vary in different versions of the Arthurian legend, and he is sometimes portrayed more sympathetically as a victim of circumstances rather than a villain.
Melot of Acquitain | The Legend of King Arthur
Lancelot, or Le Chevalier de la Charrete | Chrétien de Troyes, late 12th century
Vulgate Lancelot | 1215-1230
Le Morte Darthur | Sir Thomas Malory, 1469-1470