When did Theseus first meet Hippolyta?

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luannw's profile pic

luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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According to the play, "A Midsummer Night's Dream", Hippolyta and Theseus met in battle.  In Act 1, sc. 1, Theseus says to Hipployta, "...I wooed thee with my sword, / And won thee doing thee injuries."  According to Greek mythology, Theseus kidnapped the queen of the Amazons when he went to that area.  She was said to have gone to meet him, bringing him gifts of welcome, when he decided to keep her.  This resulted in a battle between the Amazons and Theseus' people of Athens.  This helps to explain, perhaps, why the time until they are married seems to be going so slowly to Theseus (ll. 1-6 of Act 1, sc. 1) and so quickly to Hippolyta (Act 1, sc. 1, ll. 7-11).  She isn't as anxious to marry her captor and her conqueror as he is to marry her.

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thetall | (Level 3) Educator

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In a Midsummer Night’s Dream by Shakespeare, the time when Theseus first met Hippolyta was not explicitly stated. However, the circumstance surrounding their meeting was mentioned in Act 1 Scene 1.

Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword,
And won thy love doing thee injuries;

In the play, the statement by Theseus confirmed events in Greek mythology that described how Theseus first met Hippolyta. According to the myth, Theseus among other Greek heroes waged war upon the Amazons, a race of independent warrior women. Theseus fought against Hippolyta and defeated her in combat. He was also attracted to Hippolyta because she was queen of the Amazons. Theseus decided to marry her and make her queen of Athens. In this regard, Theseus first met Hippolyta during the war with the Amazons, as inferred by Theseus’s statement in Act 1.

The wedding arrangements were made in Athens and Theseus was set to marry Hippolyta, while at the same time offered to share their wedding with the two couples of; Hermia- Lysander and Demetrius - Helena.


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