Hermia decides that she will run away with Lysander rather than marry Demetrius.
Hermia’s father Egeus brings her before Theseus, the Duke of Athens because she refuses to marry the man he has chosen for her. Theseus tells her that she should consider her father like a god, and see through his eyes. Egeus says she is his daughter and his to do what he will.
Theseus tells Hermia she has three choices. She can marry Demetrius, she can join a nunnery, or she can die. Hermia tells him that she wants to marry Lysander, and wishes her father could see her point of view.
Theseus tells her she can decide later, and takes Demetrius and Egeus aside to discuss Lysander’s accusations about Demetrius’s relationship with Helena. Lysander and Hermia remain behind, and Lysander tells Hermia that he knows a place where they can run away and be out of Theseus’s reach.
There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee;
And to that place the sharp Athenian law
Cannot pursue us. (Act 1, Scene 1)
Hermia agrees, swearing herself to Lysander and planning to meet him in the woods outside Athens to run away that night.
Hermia's decision is unusual. She tells Theseus that she is not sure what makes her so "bold" but she has made up her mind. She will not bow down to her father's wishes, and is even willing to defy Theseus because she loves Lysander.