Theseus, duke of Athens, is planning the festivities for his upcoming wedding to the newly captured Amazon, Hippolyta. Egeus arrives with his daughter Hermia and her two suitors, Lysander (the man she wants to marry) and Demetrius (the man her father wants her to marry). Egeus demands that Theseus enforce Athenian law upon Hermia and execute her if she refuses to marry Demetrius. Theseus threatens Hermia with either lifelong chastity or death if she continues to disobey her father. Lysander and Hermia make plans to flee Athens. They reveal their plan to Helena, Hermia’s friend, who is in love with Demetrius. To win Demetrius’s favor, Helena decides to tell him about Lysander and Hermia’s planned elopement.