"You ought to realize we are only women, not meant in nature to fight against men, and that we are ruled, by those who are stronger, to obedience in this and even more painful matters." In the opening of the play, Antigone and Ismene meet in the night. Antigone laments Creon's decree that whoever tries to bury Polyneices or mourn for him must be stoned to death. Although Ismene declares that the sisters lack any power in the situation, Antigone insists that she will bury Polyneices, and asks for Ismene's help. Ismene states that though she loves Polyneices, she must abide by the king's decree. Ismene, unlike Antigone, fears death. She believes that there is nothing that she can do. She reminds Antigone that they are on...
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...assistance, resolves to give their brother a proper burial. Ismene feared helping Antigone bury Polyneices but offers to die beside Antigone when Creon sends her to die. Antigone, however, refuses to allow her sister to be killed for something she did not have the courage to stand up for.
The position of women is an important theme in this play. Gender has an impact on Antigone and her actions. Antigone does not stress her own gender openly, but Creon does, refusing to take back Antigone's punishment because she, a woman, has broken his law. One can view Antigone as being fed up with restrictions and obsessed with death and martyrdom. Clearly, she is motivated by love for her brother and by her strong belief that the divine law has been violated. However, becoming a martyr makes the consequences of her action an additional advantage, rather than an obstacle.
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