There was a duke named Theseus who was "so great a conqueror" who fought many wars for just causes. He represented Athens in a war against Thebes where he sought vengeance against Creon. Creon seized Thebes and killed the husbands of widows in Athens.
After the war, Theseus captured two princes, Arcita and Palamon, from Thebes. They swore not to let anything get in between them but one day, they hear Emily, the sister of Hippolyta, singing in the gardens. They both fall in love with her and argue as to who gets to have her.
Summers past and Duke Perotheus, a friend of both Arcita and Theseus begged Theseus to free Arcita. Thesus agreed but Arcita was exiled from Athens. He was devastated because he couldn't see Emily again. He starved himself, he would spend nights "crying out in pain" and fell into a bad depression.
Arcita changed so much that he went back to Athens and became Emily's page. Palamon escaped from prison and ran into Arcita. They started to fight and Theseus found them. Theseus said they each had to get gather an army and fight for Emily's hand.
Mars helped Arcita and Venus helped Palamon. Arcita initially won the battle but Saturn caused an earthquake and "Arcita was swept out of the saddle...onto the ground, and there he lay for death". Palamon ended up marrying Emily.
Arcita had an honorable funeral with special tributes from Theseus. Athenians along with Emily, Palamon, and his father Aegeus followed behind. Palamon spent the rest of his days "in joy, amid a wealth/of bliss and splendor, happiness and wealth".