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English Literature - Antigone Characters Ismene

Antigone Characters Ismene


Antigone by Sophocles is theatrical work that demonstrates upon Greek mythology and culture. Antigone has several styles and circumstantial configurations that may be indirectly referred or related to in modern society. Sophocles uses various and strategically put characters to provide his play as well as his themes or templates. The play mainly revolves around Antigone who functions alongside her elder sister, Ismene. Both are daughters of Oedipus and Jocasta. From the start, the audience is given a vague notion of both Antigone's and Ismene's character types. Both sisters have experienced the anguish of experiencing lost their brothers, Eteocles and Polyneices. It is at the start of the play that people see Antigone's braveness. She notifies Ismene of her motives to bury Polyneices even though such an function is punishable by fatality, for Creon considers Polyneices to be a traitor and that by devoid of his body buried, Polyneices suffers a posthumous consequence. She makes this declaration while being fully aware of the penalties engaged and this brings to light several other reasons for having her figure. The audience can see that she is confident in her activities and will justify anything that she does. On the other hand Ismene may very well be being scared and uneager to agree to an action. She confronts her sister's claims by saying, " But think of the risk ! Think what Creon can do ! " (34, Prologue).

This affirmation by Ismene produce a vague sense in the audience that Ismene is a pessimist. This view is further reinforced when she says, " And do what he has forbidden ! We are women / We can not fight with men, Antigone ! " (46-47, Prologue). Hence Ismene sometimes appears seeking a means out giving excuses that are in a way associated with negative stereotypes which makes a representation of her pessimistic characteristics. Antigone's actions at the beginning of the play echo her impulsivness and rash manner in handling situations. Instead of make an effort to confront Creon about the burial of her brother she goes in advance to bury him. Her impulsive manner is also seen when she questions Ismene's promise that she'll not divulge any information to anybody else regarding Antigone's plans to bury her sibling. She does this despite the reasonable awareness that Ismene is her only sister and relative left. Her actions at this point also reflect on her indifference in undertaking actions that reflect on others. She does not seem to care about the fact that burying her sibling may have unfavorable results on Ismene who lose her sister and at the same time maintain a dilemma. Ismene would need to risk revealing the specialists and get her sister prosecuted to be able to be considered a true patriot and to save her own life or keep mum and become prosecuted for assisting and abetting an offense alongside her sister whom she'll eventually loose, whatever she chooses to do. This circumstance presents a strong discussion that Ismene is considerate and logical as she eventually chooses to keep Antigone's plans secret and remains to take action even when Antigone attacks her. She responds by stating, " But a faithful friend indeed to the people who love. " (85, Prologue).

This shows Ismene's unaggressive and unvengeful mother nature. Antigone bears responsibility well and can therefore be seen to be liable. When helped bring before Creon, she admits her actions in burying Polyneices without much ado, she audaciously confesses, " I really do. I deny nothing at all " (52, ODE I, Scene II). She runs forward and justifies her action, and calmly makes it clear that she actually is not afraid of the abuse scheduled to be enforced on her. . On the other hand Ismene bears a feeling of responsibility exactly like her sister. When helped bring before Creon, she admits her role in Antigone's 'offense' without hesitation, she says, " Yes, if she'll let me say so. I am guilty. " This and the ensuing exchange that employs between your sisters also brings to light other areas of the sisters personalities. Among the aspects that is brought out by this exchange is that of commitment. Both Ismene and Antigone are dedicated to the other person even in a situation where it is at the trouble of loss of life. Ismene is ready to die alongside her sister. At the same time Antigone cares too deeply for Ismene and will not want Ismene to go through the consequence of death. The idea that loyalty is accessible between your two sisters is reinforced by the actual fact that Ismene, within the face of death, defends her sister. When Antigone is announced as having lost her head by Creon, she says, " Grief instructs the steadiest thoughts to waver, Ruler. " (153, ODE I, Field II). Other occurrences that had happened previously in the play portray this sense of devotion and the sisterly love that is present between Ismene and Antigone. Both sisters place family responsibility above everything else. Ismene's earlier extreme caution at the beginning of the play can now be interpreted as an action of sisterly love and concern. Eurydice who is Creon's partner cum queen and Antigone are emotionally impulsive. Antigone commits suicide when she is sentenced to loss of life and restricted to a vault of rock. Eurydice in turn commits suicide when she hears about the loss of life of her kid, Haemon. Hence both individuals can be seen as compulsive and quick to do something rather than face the harsh reality of fighting. Overall it can be said that Sophocles primarily uses the various characteristics offered by Antigone, Ismene and Eurydice to build up his play. Although of the characters will be the same gender their characteristics vary greatly and this is based on with the underlying styles of the play.

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