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... ... middle of paper ... ...assistance, resolves to give their brother a proper burial.
Through their actions throughout the play Ismene and Antigone are loyal to their family yet in very different ways. Throughout the play Antigone is portrayed as a heroine for responding to her duty to bury Polynices. If she did not bury him his legacy would be tarnished. However, on the opposing side by not obeying Creon her uncle people may begin to question his authority if his own niece does not obey him. In the end Antigone chooses to obey the gods and “loving and loved [she] will lie by [Polynices’s] side,” (Sophocles 3).
Antigone is the figure who identifies with feminist thoughts, while her sister Ismene, believes woman should only follow what men want. Antigone held a meeting with her sister Ismene to discuss burying the body of Polyneices. According to Arlene Saxonhouse, “Antigone’s explanation to Ismene for the need to disobey the speech of Creon depends on affirming the sanctity of the bonds of family, the commonality of their mother’s womb and their great suffering, and the great love for her brother” (474). This quote represents how Antigone feels about the situation. Antigone feels because she and Ismene are sisters and thy feel remorse towards the death of their brother, she should want to help Antigone.
Antigone begins by telling her sister Ismene it was her duty as a sister that she should bury her dead brother. It is a duty she owes to her family. She also expresses that the king will not "keep me from my own." In other words, duty to the family is above her duty to the city. Antigone also tells Ismene that she is willing to become a criminal and die for her beliefs.
When she says, "But I will bury him; and if I must die…I shall lie down with him in death, and I shall be as dear to him as him to me. ", she shows that she is prepared to sacrifice herself for her brother. Antigone is the first person to ever disobey Creon's order not to lay her brother to rest, even though he had been declared a traitor of the city. It is during this time in her existence that Sophocles shows Antigone’s most important trait, her strong determination. Antigone forces her political and religious views on the male ruler when she places the laws of the gods above the laws of the state by burying her brother, Polynices.
I will either kill them, or myself, or both.” This can explain Antigone’s excessive desire to bury her brother and even further be supported in lines 25-28 when Antigone challenges her sister’s loyalty. Aristotle himself said that a tragic hero should be neither better nor worse normally than a normal person. With that being said Antigone’s sister, Ismene, was in the same position as her. Originally invoking a sense of naturalism this changes with Ismene’s refusal to help bury their brother. The lack of support for Antigone’s plan leaves her no choice, but distances herself from her sister who obviously doesn’t share the same family loyalty beliefs as her (Lines 77-81).
It is evident in her statement of, “But I will bury him; and if I must die, I say that this crime is holy: I shall die down with him in death, and I shall be as dear to him as he to me.” She will do whatever it takes, even if it is death, to bury her violated brother. The third example is the relationship between Haimon and Antigone. Although Haimon was loyal to his father, he later broke away from his grasp and went to the aid of his fiancée Antigone. He felt that he betrayed her by siding with his father when he was obviously wrong and being stubborn. He signifies his loyalty to Antigone with the statement of, “But her death will cause another.” He will openly defy his father in order to stand by her side.
She vows to bury her brother so that his soul may gain the peace of the underworld. Antigone is torn between the law placed against burying her brother and her own thoughts of doing what she feels should be done for her family. Her intent is simply to give her brother, Polyneices, a proper burial so that she will follow "the laws of the gods." Antigone knows that she is in danger of being killed for her actions and she says, "I say that this crime is holy: I shall lie down with him in death, and I shall be as dear to him as he to me." Her own laws, or morals, drive her to break Creon's law placed against Polyneices burial.
To her, a proper burial is the unwritten law of heaven, so she performs the last rites over her brother's body and is condemned to death. Sophocles portrays two strong-willed people, Creon and Antigone, in conflict in the play. Antigone's first priority is her family, while Creon's is his state. In trying to persuade her sister Ismene to help her bury her brother Polyneices, she states, "Now we shall soon find out / If you are true-born daughter of your line, / Or if you will disgrace your noble blood"(38-40). Antigone is telling Ismene that a true-born daughter shall always favor the family member.
She confides to Ismene that she knows of Creon's edict, but that she intends to defy it. At Ismene's protests of not defying the king's orders, Antigone states that there are higher obligations to the dead and the gods. She points out (lines 85 - 91): "I will bury him myself, and even if I die in the act the death will be a glory. I will lie with the one I love and loved by him - an outrage sacred to the gods! I have longer to please the dead than please the living here: in the kingdom down below I will lie forever.