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Moral Duty in Antigone Essay


Antigone, the protagonist in Sophocles play Antigone, believes in her moral duty to the gods over her duty to the state. She is willing to suffer the consequences in order to do what is morally right. Her sister, Ismene, follows the laws of the state to stay out of trouble. The theme of individual verses state is exemplified in this Greek tragedy. The sisters have different mentalities that throughout the play. Impossible things should not be done at all (Sophocles 277). Ismene knows what she cannot do as a woman and is happy with her limits, whereas Antigone acts as a strong individual with a free spirit.

A sibling relationship can be very complicated. Brothers and sisters do not choose one another but are forever tied together by chance. He is my brother and he is your brother too (Sophocles 276). The moral battle being faced by Antigone and Ismene is taking the risk against the will of King Creon, the ruler of Thebes, and also the sisters uncle. After a brutal battle in Thebes and betrayal against the city, Creon decided that Polyneices, Antigone and Ismenes brother, shall not have a proper burial. This does not suit well with Antigone, but it is law that she must not bury him. Ismene revealed her submissiveness and helplessness in the fight upon Creon's decision, by refusing to go with Antigone to bury him. He means a great deal to me, but I have no strength (Sophocles 277). Once again Ismene's words illustrate her weak character.

Antigone did not regret or doubt anything she did. Ismene followed the rules of society, and played the role that was expected of a woman at those times. Antigone and Ismene have different views on the situation at hand.

Antigone and Ismene were very different in every way possible; the reader can sympathize with both of them. Antigone had the better judgment and Ismene had good intentions. They were both prominent women who went through a plethora of issues together, despite their differences.

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