Theseus also appears as a character in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. The Duke of Athens, Theseus is betrothed to Hippolyta who is the queen of the Amazons. The approaching wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta provides the background within which the events of the play unfold.

Within the play, Theseus' mature and impartial character is used to provide contrast with that of the fairy king Oberon, who uses magic to humiliate and thus win back his wife Titania, as well as with those of the young lovers, Demetrius and Lysander, who are victims of Puck's mischief. Theseus does not come across as a universally sympathetic character, however; after the four protagonists have described the strange events of the previous night, Theseus reveals that he has little sympathy for "the lunatic, the lover, and the poet."