Abridged A Midsummer Night’s Dream/#1/Chauvinism/Act 1, Scene 1.1

We promptly learn that Theseus is the duke of Athens and
that he is preoccupied with near-term plans to marry Hippolyta.  As the duke of Athens, Theseus has plenty of authority.  Egeus enters with his daughter, the very
attractive, we’re told, Hermia, and two young men, Lysander and Demetrius, both
at this moment having an interest in the young Hermia.  Theseus innocently asks Egeus, “Good
Egeus.  What’s the news with thee?”  An angry Egeus says “Come I with complaint
against my child, my daughter Hermia.”  He proceeds to claim that Lysander has
“bewitched my child; that he hast given her rhymes, interchanged love tokens
with my child; hast by moonlight at her window sung verses of feigning love and
stol’n her fantasy with bracelets, rings, and trifles.  With cunning he hath filched my daughter’s
heart, turning her obedience to stubborn harshness.  My gracious duke, I beg the ancient privilege
of Athens: as she is mine, I may dispose of her to Demetrius or to her death.”

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