Who is Egeus in A Midsummer Night's Dream?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Egeus in this excellent Shakespearian comedy is the father of Hermia, and only appears in Act I scene 1 of this play. He is clearly a man of some importance in Athenian society, being able to crave an audience with Duke Theseus about his daughter. He plays the role of a traditional father who demands the rights of law to marry his daughter as he wishes. Note what he says to Theseus to conclude his complaint against Lysander and his stubborn daughter:

I beg the ancient privilege of Athens:

As she is mine, I may dispose of her,

Which shall be either to this gentleman

Or to her death, according to our law

Immediately provided in that case.

Thus as we can see Egeus is presented as rather a cruel father-figure, one of many in Shakespeare's plays, who insist on choosing the person that their daughter will marry, even prefering that his daughter should die rather than go against his will.

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shizza123 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Egeus is the father of Hermia. He wants Hermia to marry Demetrius, while Hermia loves Lysander.

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