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Characters

Palamon and Arcite Timeline and Summary

Arcite's Timeline

  • Theseus's heralds pluck Arcite's half-dead body from a pile after Theseus's battle with Thebes.
  • Theseus imprisons Arcite without ransom in a prison adjoining his garden.
  • Arcite sees Emily out picking flowers in the garden one day and immediately falls hopelessly in love with her, rejecting his oath of sworn brotherhood to Palamon in order to pursue Emily simultaneously with him.
  • A mutual friend of Theseus's and Arcite's asks Theseus to release Arcite, which he does on the condition that Arcite never return to Athens.
  • Mourning over losing close proximity to Emily, Arcite returns to Thebes.
  • Lovesick in Thebes, Arcite has a dream telling him to return to Athens.
  • He returns disguised as a servant, quickly gaining a position among Emily's household staff.
  • One day when he goes walking in a grove, Arcite meets Palamon, freshly escaped from prison. He challenges Palamon to a duel, which, they undertake the next day.
  • When Theseus comes upon the dueling cousins, he decrees that they must return to Athens in a year's time with 100 men each, to fight a joust for Emily's hand in marriage. They agree.
  • Arcite returns to Athens in a year's time, with 100 knights in tow.
  • Arcite prays at the Temple of Mars for victory in the joust.
  • Arcite fights in the joust. His forces take Palamon prisoner, ending the battle and winning it for him.
  • During his victory ride, a freak earthquake causes Arcite to tumble from his horse and injure himself badly.
  • Arcite dies with Palamon and Emily at his bedside, commending Palamon to Emily as a husband.

Palamon's Timeline

  • Theseus's heralds pluck Palamon's half-dead body from a pile after Theseus's battle with Thebes.
  • Theseus imprisons Palamon without ransom in a prison adjoining his garden.
  • Palamon sees Emily out picking flowers in the garden one day and immediately falls hopelessly in love with her, rejecting his oath of sworn brotherhood to Arcite in order to pursue Emily simultaneously with him.
  • After Arcite is released, Palamon curses his own fate, convinced that Arcite has a better chance of winning Emily now.
  • After seven years in prison, Palamon manages to escape by drugging a guard. He hides in a grove during the day to wait for nightfall, when he plans to make his escape from Athens.
  • In the grove, Palamon overhears Arcite's lament for Emily, and leaps out in anger.
  • Palamon agrees to fight for Emily when Arcite challenges him to a duel.
  • When Theseus comes upon the dueling cousins, he decrees that they must return to Athens in a year's time with 100 men each, to fight a joust for Emily's hand in marriage. They agree.
  • Palamon returns to Athens in a year's time, with 100 knights in tow.
  • Palamon prays at the temple of Venus to gain Emily as his wife.
  • Palamon fights in the joust. Arcite's forces take him prisoner, so he loses the battle.
  • Palamon tearfully witnesses the death and funeral of Arcite.
  • Palamon returns to Thebes.
  • Called back to Athens by Theseus, Palamon listens to his speech about how death is a part of life.
  • Palamon happily marries Emily at Theseus's request.
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