Antigone - the Differences of Two Sisters

Topics: Sophocles, Plato, Law Pages: 2 (475 words) Published: April 17, 2011
The Differences of Two Sisters
Antigone is a Greek tragedy that is written by Sophocles. It is about a woman named Antigone fighting for her brother Polyneices’ rights to be buried. Antigone’s sister Ismene agrees that he should be buried but is hesitant about helping. While both Antigone and Ismene are strong women, their views and actions reveal two sisters who are very different. These sisters differ through their attitudes, fear or lack of, towards Kreon, and the laws in which they follow.

The sister’s attitudes differ in many ways. Antigone is a very outspoken person. She does not hesitate to oppose something if it stands in her way. Antigone’s name itself means “to go against.” She goes against the law in order to honor her brother with a burial for the gods. However, Ismene is the opposite. She is a submissive woman, who conforms to the rules because she is “[just a woman], born unfit to battle men” (23). Ismene believes that Polyneices should have a proper burial but is too timid to do anything about it for fear of what might happen to her. Their attitudes lead them to different feelings towards their King Kreon.

Antigone and Ismene view their King differently; Antigone neither fear nor respects Kreon, while Ismene holds his laws in high respects and is scared by him. Antigone does not fear his wrath and claims Kreon “cannot keep [her] from [her] own” (22). She knows that trying to bury her brother will most likely end with her demise but this does not deter her, she defies him anyway. Ismene is reluctant to participate. She knows what the punishment for burying Polyneices might be and unlike Antigone, she fears the consequences. Because of this fear, she obeys Kreon’s laws; while Antigone on the other hand does not fear Kreon or his laws, because she follows a higher power.

Antigone does not fear man’s law; she follows laws from the gods instead. She believes it is the gods will for her brother to be buried despite the laws set by Kreon. When...
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