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.
– William Shakespeare
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 1, Scene 1. Egeus is demanding that his daughter Hermia marry the man he chooses for her, Demetrius, but she defies him because she loves Lysander. In this passage Egeus appeals to the Duke of Athens Theseus to enforce the law, saying that if his daughter disobeys she would be put to death. "As she is mine, I may dispose of her," an enraged Egeus ominously declares. Egeus sees her simply as his property, to do what he will with her under the law of Athens, including killing her!