Egeus is Hermia’s father who does not approve of Hermia’s relationship with Lysander. Egeus has promised Hermia’s hand in marriage to Demetrius, a wealthy suitor and friend of Lysander. Egeus believes that Demetrius will make a suitable husband for his daughter, while Hermia loves only Lysander.
Egeus’ first appearance in the play comes shortly after Helena enters with her father, the Duke of Athens. He is accompanied by two attendants and asks them to seize Helena and take her away from the forest. When Helena refuses to go with them, Egeus threatens to disown her if she does not obey him. Helena eventually agrees to go with them and leaves the forest, but not before one of the attendants sees Puck hiding behind a tree and orders him to come out.
Later on in Act I scene 2, Egeus appears again when he meets Demetrius outside the palace gates after being banished from Athens by Theseus for murdering Lysander in a duel over Hermia’s affections.
He gives his blessing to the marriage of Hermia and Lysander, but he does not want his daughter Helena to marry Demetrius because he is from Thebes. When Hermia and Lysander are in the forest, Egeus comes out of his house and tells them that he will give them shelter for one night so they can escape from Athens.
Later, when Theseus comes to Athens, Egeus decides to give him his daughter Hippolyta in marriage.