Analysis Of ' Antigone ' By Sophocles

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In Sophocles’s Antigone, which centrals around themes such as bravery in the face of death, civil unrest, and unyielding dedication to divine justice, it is easy to understand how Ismene’s character is often called cowardly, docile, and indecisive. However, if one were to take away Antigone as a comparison, Ismene may appear in a different light. She survived her tragic upbringing through rational thought and a sort of optimism that others will do the same, while still managing to keep her love for her family intact. Though not as glorious or as charismatic as Antigone, Ismene is a sympathetic character in her own right, not merely a passive doll who does as others says. Ismene, much like the rest of the royal house of Thebes, is a tortured soul. From the moment of her birth, Ismene was cursed, being the daughter of the incestuous union between Jocasta and Oedipus. She suffered not only through the unfortunate origin of her birth, but Ismene lost ever member of her family beside her only sister, Antigone. Consider, sister, how our father died, hated and infamous; how he brought to light his own offenses; how he struck out the sight of his own eyes; his own hand was their executioner. Then, mother in wife, two names in one, did shame violently on her own life, with twisted cords. Third, our two brothers, on a single day, poor wretches, themselves worked out their mutual doom (49-58). To add to her suffering, the only other surviving member of her family, Antigone, comes to
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