| Quote #10
'Namoore, up peyne of lesynge of youre heed!
Theseus objects to Palamon and Arcite's duel not because he objects to fighting generally, but because they're doing it unsupervised, there's no referee. Theseus's rules demand a "juge or oother officere" to preside over the duel so that it can be fairly adjudicated. This rule ensures that Theseus can keep order in his lands.
| Quote #11
He hath considered shortly in a clause
Here Theseus weighs the demands of justice and mercy, and comes down on the side of mercy. His reasoning is similar to Arcite's when he claims that love is a higher law than any other. It's obvious to Theseus that a man can't be expected to follow the normal rules when he's crazy with love. Also, Theseus takes pity on the women, who don't want to see these two knights executed.
| Quote #12
And softe unto hymself he seyde, 'Fy
Theseus believes that the attitude of a law-breaker – whether repentant or defiant – ought to determine the punisher's response to his crime. He says that a lord that fails to take this into account shows a lack of "discrecioun," or an ability to differentiate between things, by treating both kinds of rule-breakers as though they are the same. Theseus's thought process here shows his desire for balance, for everyone to get what they deserve.