Hippolyta, I woo’d thee with my sword
And won thy love doing thee injuries,
But I will wed thee in another key,
With pomp, with triumph, and with revelling.
– William Shakespeare
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 1, Scene 1. Theseus defeated and conquered Amazon Queen Hippolyta in battle and she is now betrothed to him. The Amazons were a mythical nation of warrior women, who were courageous and independent and the archenemies of the ancient Greeks. But in Theseus’ world it is the men who take charge and women are property and prizes to be won in battle. He uses verbal irony when he says that he won Hippolyta’s love by causing her injury, as hurting someone does not normally endear them to you. Theseus has now been transformed from warrior king and Hippolyta’s enemy to her lover. He employs a musical metaphor when he talks of wooing her with his sword and now wedding her "in another key" – with pomp and festivities and celebration instead of war. There is a subtle foreshadowing in this passage that love in the play has to be fought for and won. The uneasy union of Theseus and Hippolyta, brought about by enslavement, is also foreshadowing of the dispute between Oberon and Titania, their counterparts in the fairy world.