Theseus is the Duke of Athens, a mighty warrior who has recently conquered the Amazons and is supposed to be marrying their Queen, Hippolyta.
Interrupted on the way to the ceremony, he takes a great deal of convincing before he agrees to put his marriage off and go fight Creon instead. He believes that reason should rule over passion, and therefore in the end does as he is asked. Impressed by Palamon and Arcite’s valor in the war, he brings them back as prisoners and has them cured of their wounds. He shares a deep friendship with Pirithous, who is able to convince him to let Arcite go. He enjoys having entertainments presented to him by his subjects, and rewards them well. He has a hot temper at times, and is a bit inflexible about changing his mind after he swears something when he is in a rage. Hippolyta and Emilia are able to soften him, though, as he is in love with his wife and fond of his sister-in-law. He is however quick to arrange for the latter to marry a former prisoner of his, and takes little notice of her apparent uncertainty in the matter. He is a pious man. He is the same as the Theseus of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.