Theseus after a victory against Thebes, captures two Thebian princes, Palamon and Arcita. He decides to keep them as prisoners for life
While in prison several years later, Palamon spots Thesesus' sister Emily, and falls completely in love. Palamon likewise, falls in love, and the two have an argument. They end the argument by agreeing nothing can be done while stuck in prison.
Arcita through a favor from a friend is released and exiled from Theseus' lands. However he comes back in disguise. Years later, Palamon escapes his prison and encounters Arcita, where the two fight over Emily's love. Theseus intervenes, saying they will fight in a year and the victor marries Emily.
After a year of gathering troops and praying to the gods, Arcita and Palamon alongside the armies they have gathered, begin to fight.
Although initially victorious, Arcita experiences a fatal fall from his horse. With his dying breath, he tells Emily despite being enemies, Palamon is a great man who will serve her well.
All of Athens grieves for Acrita's death. Later, Theseus marries Emily and Palamon in a joyous and happy ceremony.