The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale
by Geoffrey Chaucer
Theseus Timeline and Summary
- On his way home from conquering Scythia, Theseus meets a group of mourning women who ask him to take revenge on Creon, lord of Thebes, for refusing to allow them to bury their husbands' bodies.
- Theseus agrees, and wages war on Thebes, defeating Creon.
- Theseus takes Palamon and Arcite hostage without hope of ransom.
- Theseus agrees to release Arcite at the request of their mutual friend, Perotheus.
- Out hunting one day, Theseus stumbles upon Arcite and Palamon dueling over Emily.
- Theseus makes a speech about how love is a cruel master that causes men to do foolish things.
- Theseus decrees that Arcite and Palamon must return to Athens with 100 soldiers each and engage in a joust that will determine who marries Emily.
- Theseus constructs a huge stadium for the joust, complete with temples of Mars, Venus, and Diana.
- Theseus hosts a welcome banquet for Palamon and Arcite's companies.
- Theseus presides over the joust.
- Theseus hosts an evening banquet after the joust, and gives gifts to all the men who fought in it.
- After Arcite's death, Theseus arranges a lavish funeral for him.
- After he recalls Palamon to Athens, Theseus gives a speech before him, Emily, and his counselors about the meaning of death and the proper response to it.
- Theseus asks Palamon to marry Emily.