In what ways do Demetrius and Egeus attempt to control Hermia?
Both Demetrius, who wants to marry Hermia against her will, and Egeus, her father, who wants her to marry Demetrius, appeal to the power of the state in the form of Theseus, the Duke of Athens, in order to force Hermia to marry Demetrius. Hermia, however, is in love with Lysander, and communicates this to Theseus. He responds by telling her that she must treat her father as a god and do what he commands. Hermia says she wishes her father could see through her eyes and Theseus tells her that, in fact, she should try to understand life through her father's eyes and learn to align herself to his desires. In other words, he informs her that she needs to conform to a patriarchal system and do what the dominant male wants. Theseus then tells her that if she doesn't do what her father demands and marry Demetrius, she will have to either face the death penalty or life in an Athenian nunnery dedicated to the goddess Diana. We see how well this attempt to control Hermia works: like most young people in love, she is not about to be told what to do, and she and Lysander run off together.