No matter how close brothers and sisters are, siblings will ultimately disagree at one time or another. In this lesson, we'll analyze the character. Ismene, Antigone's sister, is the first to mention their relationship when Creon announces that Antigone will be killed. Ismene can't believe that Creon would hurt. In Antigone by Sophocles, Antigone and Ismene's straining relationship is held together by a Challenges to Male Authority in Sophocles' play, Antigone Essay.
Antigone wishes to honor the gods by burying her brother, but the law of Creon decrees that he shall have no burial since her brother is technically a traitor to the state.
Sophocles Antigone, the eldest daughter of king Oedipus and Creon, now the king of Thebes, both proud and willful people, are in constant conflict throughout the play.
In other words, there is the conflict between religious Antigone and tyrant Creon. Creon, a tyrant considers the state as his private property as a king, but Antigone's great courage to challenge the authority makes the audience feel intense sympathy and admiration for her.
She is a martyr to her beliefs. The main conflict in Antigone centers on a distinction between law and justice. Creon, the maternal uncle of Antione and Ismene, has made a decree: Polynices, the brother of Antigone and Ismene was guilty not only of killing his brother, Eteocles, but also of attacking the state and like all traitors Polynices will be denied a proper burial.
escarryn academia: Ismene and Antigone: Conflicting Siblings and Contrasting Beliefs
When the action of the play begins, Antigone has determined to give her brother, Polynices, the burial that ancient tradition and her religious beliefs demand as her responsibility of being his sister.
Antigone says that she must act as per the religious law, the law of higher God. Ismene declares simply that she cannot go against the law of the citizens human law. Antigone, knowing full well the consequences of defying Creon, acts on her principles as she realizes that law of God demands the burial of a dead body, she acts on her principles.
According to her, human beings, themselves, are imperfect, so the laws made by the king are also imperfect; only the laws made by God are perfect. So, she is motivated by the fact that she has to bury the corpse of her brother at any cost, even at the cost of her death. Politically Creon might be correct as it is the strategy of the human law to defy the traitor from being buried, at the same time Antigone is also right because it is her religious duty to bury the dead brother.
Antigone has a moral and ethical power as an individual, though Creon has political power as king. But Ismene is one the side of political power, so she tries to persuade Antigone to surrender the king.
But Antigone remains constant despite other' efforts of persuasion. Morally and ethically he has been defeated by Antigone, though she has been defeated politically by Creon. He is in irreparable loss as he has gone against the wish of God. Antigone states, " Such, such were my parents, and I their wretched child. I go to them now, cursed, unwed, to share their home" Sophocles While all this seems contrary to her previous actions, perhaps it is yet another example of how smitten Antigone really is with death.
She not only has a strong affection for the life she believes will come, but for the process it will take to get there as well as the martyred existence she will leave behind.
Photo courtesy of http: She actively proves to him how little respect she has for him and tries desperately to make him see that he is not above the law of the gods and should not fool himself into believing so. Nor should he fault her for trying to appease those in a higher position. She says, " I have longer to please the dead than please the living here: Do as you like, dishonor the laws the gods hold in honor" Sophocles Antigone does not feel the laws inflicted by mortal man hold weight against those inflicted by the gods.
She speaks openly to Creon, explaining the error of his ways and in return is verbally abused as well as humiliated. Her emotions and reactions guide the plot as well as give the reader an interesting heroine with non-conventional motives.
Specifically notice the section titled "Relationships in Antigone" Ismene on Love and Hate by Heidi Bontrager Under the rule of Creon, women such as Ismene were restricted to follow the rules of the men of that society. The question lies with Ismene and her feelings towards her sister and her slain brother; does she love them? In some perspectives the approach that Ismene takes is cowardly; however it was the expected approach.
If she did in fact truly love each of them with no restrictions she would have joined Antigone in the burial. The fact that she did not says something about the way that she thinks and how she values human life. The way that she lives she could not possibly fully love someone, but only stick to the rules and look to the men for the way that her life should be lived. She seems to not want to dishonor the Gods, but yet she follows a rule that is set by the King that does just so.
She is afraid to die for honor, but when she is alive she has none. She might as well defy the town and die with Antigone for the sake of her dead kin. There is no question that Ismene loves Antigone in the sense that she is her sister and has taken care of her since their parents died. The question is though; does she love her sister enough to leave the ways that she has known and stand up against the town and her powerlessness? Ismene never had enough emotion to die for any cause.
Conflict between Human Law and Law of God in Sophocles' Antigone
She loved her brother, but not enough to give him the rights that he deserved. To be buried like a man and a human being. She feared the town with the power that it had over her and the way that situations were conducted within the town.
The fact that King Creon would not let her brother be buried made her feel animosity towards the people of the town for the fact that no one else would stand against them except for her sister, even though she herself, could not do the same.
Conflict between Human Law and Law of God in Sophocles' Antigone
She let her idea that she has no power take her over and make her think that she did not have the right to stand up for the love of a sister and brother. Instead she pitied them and kept her inner thoughts to herself. Love and hate are powerful emotions. Sometimes people are confused about what is right and wrong by fear taking them over and turning into hate. This hate keeps individuals from doing what is respectful.
Antigone and Ismene This image portrays the close loving relationship Ismene and Antigone shared. It is from a modern stage adaption.
To him, Antigone is the greatest traitor to her country and king after she deliberately disobeys him, giving a proper burial to her brother Polynices. After Creon expresses his disgust in her disobeying his orders, she argues the burial was due and she was right in doing so. His tone is sarcastic and mocking of Antigone. As king, he feels the only love he should feel is that for his city and its rules and regulations. Instead of respecting the idea of the love his son has for Antigone and the love he should show towards his niece, Creon better demonstrates the love Greek political leaders showed for their positions.
He loves neither Antigone nor Haemon enough to make an exception to the city's rules and his laws pertaining to the burying of "traitors to the city," as he says Polynices was. Only after he realizes his stubbornness was the cause of both his son and wife's suicide does Creon show any sort of actual "love" for his family. His remorse appears and he sees how he was wrong in his demanding Antigone be put to death.
Antigone and Creon as depicted in a Jean Cocteau's drawing This image symbolizes the confrontation between Antigone and Creon throughout the play. In the play they "butt heads" over several topics; this depicts these disagreements. Both men insist upon the concept of honoring war heroes who died fighting for something they believed in. When Haemon is first introduced to us he expresses unconditional love for his father.