However, Antigone places her individual conscience and love for her brother Polyneices above and against the power and authority of the state, which costs her life. "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.
For example, Antigone goes against the king’s orders without her sister’s support. Her act of rebellion is clearly looked down upon by society, this can be shown when Ismene tells her “Remember we are women, we’re not born to contend with men. Then too, we’re underlings, ruled by much stronger hands, so we must submit in this, and things still worse.”(Sophocles,18). This quote goes to show that Ismene felt Antigone was out of her place and attempting to fix things that were out of her control. However, against her sister’s will and advice Antigone decides to continue forward with her brother’s illegal burial stating, “Even if I die in the act, that death will be a glory”(Sophocles, 18).
Ismene is trying to convince Antigone that they should just follow Creon’s law because she is scared and Ismene does not want them to get executed. Ismene tells Antigone angrily, “Our own death would be if we should go against Creon/And do what he has forbidden!” Antigone replies, “You may do as you like, /Since apparently the laws of the gods mean nothing to you.”(462) Antigone believes the god’s law is more important than Creon. Antigone will even go against her own sister to make sure her brother receives a proper burial. Antigone keeps the consistency of being strong throughout the entire play. After the sentry informs Creon that Antigone was the one trying to bury Polyneices, he wants Antigone arrested.
It tells the story of a girl named Antigone and the troubles she faces in an attempt to honor her deceased brother. A Doll’s House and Antigone portray women’s boundaries and what happens to those who dare to step outside of them, even if it is to save one whom they love. Nora and Antigone share rebellious, independent, and deceptive personalities. Women were subservient and outspoken in previous eras and their societies; however, Antigone and Nora rebelled against stereotypical images of women. Ismene, Antigone’s sister, was against the burial of their brother Polynices.
She reminds Antigone that they are the only family members left and pleads with her not to commit such a crime, but Antigone refuses to accept the logic in her sister’s argument and will not be swayed, even though the idea of her death clearly upsets her sister. Ismene later has a change of heart and wishes to die alongside her sister in order to honor the dead as well, she even confesses to Creon, but Antigone rejects her idea of being a martyr, saying that her own death “will suffice” (Sophocles 136). Ismene then imagines life without her sister. The idea of losing the only kin she has left on Earth terrifies Ismene. She pleads to Antigone, “what life is dear to me bereft of you?” (Sophocles 136).
During the conversation from the quote above the line “But now we stand convicted, both alike(Sophocles 1249).” Ismene said that they were both convicted. From this we see that Ismene “in her eyes” are sharing the fate from Antigone 's actions. She is willing to share her fate and yet again shows how stubborn she can be when it comes to being with her sister. In the end there wasn’t much Ismene can do other than provide support, comfort, and protection for her sister Antigone. Ismene tried her best by urging her sister not to go after the body of her 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). Ismene later in the play tries to claim some guilt in order to help Antigone’s cause. Yet again, Antigone refused to allow her sister to assume any punishment for her crime. Sophocles, Peter Meineck, Paul Woodruff’s Theban plays acknowledges Antigone would rather be dead with her brother than alive with a husband (Line 55-58). This is
She thinks that she is not committing any crime or disobeying any law to bury her brother. Sophocles build a perception that Antigone is also cruel. Because she is doing something that is against the law in that society. She makes her sister to support her “And now you can prove what you are: A true sister, or a traitor to your family” (Schilb 25). She forcing her sister, and asking her is she going to support her or will betray her.
Because when Ismene tries to council Antigone, Antigone’s response was to say, “If you will talk like this I will loathe you...” (1568). Second, the scene where Ismene stands by her sister, is an example of Ismene willing to forfeit her life for her only living family. Initially, Ismene may have refused to stand by her sister; however, at the threat of losing her, in order to stay with her sister, Ismene is willing to take partial blame. As Ismene confesses, “I did it, yes—if she will say I did it I bear my share in it, bear the guilt, too”
Antigone, not happy with her sisters response chides her sister for not participating in her crime and for her passivity, saying, “Don’t fear for me. Set your own life in order"(97). For Antigone, no law could stand in the way of her strong consideration of her brother's spirit, not even the punishment of an early death. Ismene is more practical, knowing the task is impossible, she feels the situation to be hopeless. It is a wonder, which of the two sisters are really guilty of these chronic charges.