Men who hover over their opponents have no cause to evolve a science of wrestling; and Theseus is conventionally shown in combat with hulking of monstrous enemies, living by his wits.
- Quotes about Theseus (Hero)
The tradition that he emulated the feats of Herakles may well embalm some ancient sneer at the over-compensation of a small assertive man. Napoleon comes to mind. If one examines the legend in this light, a well-defined personality emerges. It is that of a light-weight; brave and aggressive, physically tough and quick; highly sexed and rather promiscuous; touchily proud, but with a feeling for the underdog; resembling Alexander in his precocious competence, gift of leadership, and romantic sense of destiny.
Mary Renault, on her portrayal of Theseus in her books, in The King Must Die (1958), "Author's Note", p. 333