What aspects of love are explored with Theseus and Hippolyta?
We can see coercive love and patriarchal power explored in the relationship of Theseus and Hippolyta. Theseus is the Duke of Athens. Hippolyta is (or was) Queen of the Amazons, a fierce tribe of warrior women. The backstory to their relationship is that when Theseus wooed Hippolyta as his bride, she rejected him, believing it more important to rule her people than to marry. In response, Theseus kidnapped her.
As the play opens, Theseus and Hippolyta are going to be married in four days. Theseus is anxious for the wedding to take place and says,
Four happy days bring inAnother moon. But oh, methinks how slowThis old moon wanes!
Four days will quickly steep themselves in night.Four nights will quickly dream away the time.
Hippolyta, I wooed thee with my swordAnd won thy love doing thee injuries.But I will wed thee in another key,With pomp, with triumph, and with reveling.