And swoor his ooth, as he was trewe knyght,
He wolde doon so ferforthly his myght
Upon the tiraunt Creon hem to wreke
That al the peple of Grece sholde speke
How Creon was of Theseus yserved
As he that hadde his deeth ful wel deserved.

– Geoffrey Chaucer

The Canterbury Tales, The Knight’s Tale. When Duke Theseus rides victoriously into Athens after his great military successes, he is greeted at the gates by four weeping widows. They beg for his help to retrieve the bodies of their husbands, whom King Creon has refused to allow them bury. Theseus swears to avenge the ladies’ husbands by slaying Creon.