Mordred (camelot): foil synthesis


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Mordred was the fearsome contentious estranged relation of fabled King Arthur of Camelot.

Many stories credit Mordred with the stealthy social undoing of Camelot with strategic (and savage) moves.

For these reasons, Mordred can be considered the folk tale antecedent of Lancelot.

Lancelot was perhaps Arthur's most enchanting knights and reputedly skilled with the sword but apparently rumored to have betrayed Arthur by wooing and drawing the affections of Arthur's wife, Queen Guinevere. Nevertheless, Lancelot is considered to be one of Arthur's personal aides and perhaps more intriguingly so because of his estranged but theoretically legendary complex friendship with Arthur.

Mordred wore impressive armor representative of precise ambition, while Lancelot was portrayed to wear shapes of a bodyguard and foot crusader.

In John Boorman's seminal adaptation of the story of Camelot, titled "Excalibur" (1981), Mordred is portrayed as wearing ominously pure gold armor and testing Arthur's courage and humility, while Lancelot is portrayed as wearing shining pure silver meant to convey assistantship and sparkle.

Mordred is a handsome symbol of empire frailty and the more we draw such a symbol out of English folklore, the more we can perhaps create an enduring character foil for the unusual Lancelot.