A Midsummer Night's Dream

How does Hermia defend her position to Theseus? Why is this heroic?

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Women often did not speak up against men in Shakespeare's time, especially to men in authority. Hermia politely asks Theseus to pardon her stubbornness. She says it is kind of him to let her plead her thoughts. She wants to know what the worse thing will happen to her if she decides not to marry Demetrius.