A Midsummer Night's Dream
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Theseus Timeline and Summary
- 1.1: Theseus complains that he has to wait four whole days before he can sleep with his fiancée, Hippolyta.
- 1.1: Theseus orders his party planner, Philostrate, to tell everyone in Athens that it's time to party because he's getting hitched soon.
- 1.1: Theseus promises Hippolyta that their wedding night is going to be a lot more fun than the day he conquered her and her people.
- 1.1: Theseus attempts to settle a dispute between Egeus and Hermia. (Egeus wants his daughter to marry Demetrius and she refuses.)
- 1.1: Theseus orders Hermia to obey her dad or suffer the consequences: death or life as a nun.
- 1.1: Theseus informs Hermia that life as a celibate nun is horrible – it's like being a "rose" that's "withering on the virgin thorn."
- 1.1: Theseus gives Hermia four days to decide her fate – how generous.
- 1.1-3.3: Theseus disappears until Act 4, scene 1.
- 4.1: On his wedding day, Theseus celebrates May Day and goes hunting with his wedding party.
- 4.1: Theseus brags that he has the best hunting hounds in the world.
- 4.1: Theseus and his party stumble on the young lovers, who are asleep in the woods. Theseus is pleased that the kids have worked out their issues – he says they can all get married now in a triple wedding ceremony over at the temple.
- 4.1: Theseus gets married (off-stage).
- 5.1: Theseus tells us that he doesn't believe the story he's heard about the lovers' strange night in the woods. He declares that madmen, poets, and lovers are alike because they're all insane.
- 5.1: Theseus decides he wants to watch the Mechanicals' play before he goes to bed.
- 5.1: Theseus defends the Mechanicals' lousy performance and insists that they mean well.
- 5.1: Theseus watches the play but interrupts the amateur actors before they can perform the prologue.
- 5.1: Theseus declares it's time for the newly married couples to go to bed.
- 5.1: While Theseus spends the night with his wife, the fairies dance around the house, blessing his marriage bed. (That's Shakespeare's way of telling us that Theseus is having a good time.)