In William Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream, is Demetrius the son of Theseus? Is Egeus the father of Hermia? Thank you.

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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William Shakespeare's plays have a much larger and richer cast of characters than many modern dramas. If you are reading the play rather than watching it, sometimes it can be difficult to keep all these characters straight. There are several good movie versions of the play freely available on YouTube which you might find helpful (it's easier to keep track of characters if you can see them). The relationships of the young lovers are as follows: 

Theseus is a figure well known to Shakespeare's audience from Greek mythology. He is the ruler of Athens, and has the absolute and final power to make decisions over his people's lives. He is engaged to Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, somewhat against her will. His decision-making role has to do with his official position; he is not related to any of the other characters in the play.

Hermia is a friend of Helena. Her father, Egeus, wants her to marry Demetrius but she loves Lysander. 

Helena is a friend of Hermia. She loves Demetrius, but unfortunately Demetrius is in love with her friend Hermia (who loves Lysander). 

Demetrius once loved Helena but now loves loves Hermia. Hermia's father Egeus wants Hermia to marry him. The father of Demetrius does not appear in the play.

Lysander loves Hermia and Hermia loves Lysander. Hermia's father disapproves of this.

Egeus is Hermia’s father and is trying to force Hermia to marry Demetrius. 

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mirandamd13 | Student, College Junior | eNotes Newbie

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Demetrius is not the son of Theseus, but Egeus is indeed the father of Hermia. All four characters come into contact during the first act, when Theseus, the ruler of Athens, is asked to settle a dispute between Egeus and Hermia. Egeus wants his daughter to marry her suitor Demetrius, but Hermia, who is in love with Lysander, refuses. Theseus' role in all of this is similar to a court judge's role in today's society; he needs to decide who is right. He ultimately rules that Hermia will be sentenced to death if she disobeys her father. While this ruling may seem unfair, it is important to understand that Theseus is upholding Athenian law. Theseus does ultimately support Demetrius in his desire to marry Hermia, but he is not related to Demetrius in any way. 

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bishama | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

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Hermia is the daughter of Egeus. Demetrius is a noble Athenian who once loved Helena. Helena is a friend of Hermia who is in love with Demetrius. Theseus is the duke of Athens.

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