Antigone vs. Ismene

Topics: Sophocles, Oedipus, Oedipus at Colonus Pages: 2 (627 words) Published: March 1, 2007
The personalities of the two sisters, Antigone and Ismene, are very different. Antigone would have been a strong, successful 90's type woman with her open-minded and strong attitude towards her femininity, while Ismene seems to be a more conservative 1950's style woman. Antigone acts as a free spirit and a rebellious individual, while Ismene is content to recognize her own limitations and her inferiority. In the play, "Antigone," by Sophocles; Antigone learns that King Creon has refused to give a proper burial for the murdered Polyneices, brother of Ismene and Antigone. Enraged by this wrong-doing, Antigone shares the tragic news with Ismene. From her first response, "No, I have heard nothing," Ismene shows her meekness and helplessness in the light of Creon's ruling. From the start, Ismene is characterized as traditionally feminine. She plays the part of a helpless woman that pays no mind to political affairs. Because Ismene doubted the wisdom of her sister and her plan to break the law and bury Polyneices, Ismene argued with Antigone. Ismene argued saying, "We who are women should not contend with men; we who are weak are ruled by the stronger, so that we must obey...." Once again Ismene's words clearly state her weak, feminine character and helplessness that she withheld. Antigone, not happy with her sisters response reprimands her sister for not participating in her crime and for her passivity by saying, "Set your own life in order." For Antigone, no law could stand in the way of her strong consideration of her brother's spirit, not even the punishment of an early death. Ismene is more practical. She knows the task is impossible and she feels the situation to be hopeless. Which of the two sisters are really guilty of these tragic sins? Of course, Antigone acted so quickly and failed to take the advice of her modest sister, Ismene. Instead, going against Creon's words, Antigone impulsively goes ahead and breaks the law. I believe that Antigone is...
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