Arcite has been free for two years in Thebes. One night he dreamed that he saw Mercury telling him to "be free of care and hope". He should go to Athens to oversee his deppression and go see Emelye. He planned to disguise himself and pass as an unknown person. At the same time, Palamon was living in prison still for seven years and soon came up with a plan to escape and flee the city. He planned to hide outside the city and go towards Thebes. The morning that Palamon escapes, Arcite was horseback riding in the same area. The two men spotted one another and revealed their true selves. They planned to meet in the same place the next day and fight for Emelye, while Theseus, Hippolyta, and Emelye were hunting. They soon came across the battling cousins and stopped the violence. Palamon reveals Arcite's and his own identity to Theseus as they both tell how much they love Emelye. Theseus immediately ordered them to death until Emelye felt sorry for the cousins, begging for mercy. Theseus agrees and states that they cannot declare war on anyone else except they must wage a battle against each other, with one hundred knights each, to decide whom Emelye will marry.