Antigone compare and contrast

8 August 2016

In the classical play “Antigone” by Sophocles, two of the main characters are sisters, Antigone and Ismene. The pair get into plenty of trouble, and are alike and different in througout the story. They are the daughters of the previous king, Oedipus. Their brothers have just killed each other in the battles between Thebes and Argos, Thebes emerging the victor. Polyneices fought for Argos whilst Eteocles fought for Thebes. The uncle of the family, whose name is Creon, has taken the throne in absence of a male descendant of Oedipus.

Creon decrees that the burying of Polyneices be forbidden, and provides a proper religious burial for Eteocles. The sisters are very alike in many ways. Antigone and Ismene are both fairly outraged about the fact that their brother will not have a proper entrance into the afterlife. They don’t think that Creon should disallow them to bury their brother properly. Both sisters are willing to die for the sake of their brother. When Antigone is caught in the act, she tells Creon “These laws—I was not about to break them,not out of fear of some man’s wounded pride, and face the retribution of the gods.

Antigone compare and contrast Essay Example

Die I must, I’ve known it all my life— how could I keep from knowing? — even without your death sentence ringing in my ears. ” (Antigone 509-514). Antigone says this after she has traditionally buried Polyneices for the second time. This shows how she is dedicated to give her brother a proper burial, even in the face of death. Ismene is very much like Antigone in in the fact that, she is also willing to die for her family members. Ismene says this to Creon and Antigone, “But now you face such dangers .

I’m not ashamed to sail through trouble with you, make your troubles mine. ” (Ismene 606-609). She goes on to add after Antigone protests, “Oh no, my sister, don’t reject me, please, let me die beside you, consecrating the dead together. ” (Ismene 612-614). This shows that Ismene would share the punishment with Antigone, and die for her family. Even though both sisters are willing to die for their family, they came to that conclusion in different ways. In the the beginning of the play,

Antigone is trying to convince Ismene to come and bury Polyneices body with her. Ismene is angry about the way her deceased brother is being treated, but not enough to accompany Antigone to do the deed. Antigone pleads to Ismene, “Will you lift up his body with these bare hands and lower it with me? ” (Antigone 52-53). Ismene is not quite sure what to do at this moment, she is not certain that she wants to cross the law with her sister. She declines Antigones offer replying, “Now look at the two of us, left so alone.

Think what a death we’ll die, the worst of all if we violate the laws and override the fixed decree of the throne, it’s power— we must be sensible. remember that we are women, we’re not born to contend with men. ” (Ismene 70-75). These two quotes show how Antigone is willing to pay the toll for disobeying the law and her uncle, while Ismene is too fearful to disobey Creon. It also shows that Ismene is more of a follower, rather than a leader, because she later follows in Antigones footsteps and defies Creon.

These two sisters underwent a very challenging and confusing journey. They are very alike in that they both have very strong family ties to each other and their deceased kin. Antigone is very strong in her religious beliefs, and is willing to do anything to make sure that she and her family is favored by the gods. Ismene is unlike Antigone in that she would not disobey the law to convey her beliefs. The pair complement each other perfectly in the story, and can be very similar at times, but also show signs of diversity.

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