A Comparison Of Antigone’s And Ismene’s Reactions To Grief In Antigone By Sophocles

Antigone Response paper

Antigone is one among the oldest pieces that are still being studied. As they all have to face the death of the Polyneices, the play allows us to examine the psychology of many characters. While it is easy to discuss the differences between Antigone’s, Haimon’s, and Creon’s reactions to the situation, there is an interesting relationship in the text between Antigone-Ismene.

Both sisters are affected by tragedy when their brothers kill one another, but their reactions to it are very different. Antigone, who is grieving, focuses on the injustice and takes the chance to correct it. Ismene, on the other hand, is overwhelmed by sadness and afraid of the consequences of breaking law. Antigone is seen most often as the heroine in the play Antigone. One could argue that Antigone was the culprit of the tragedy. Antigone could have spoken her sorrow with Haimon so that he would not have to bury Polyneices dead body. Haimon as well as Queen Haimon are also affected by her decision to murder herself in a rash act of grief.

After considering all possible endings, Antigone’s plan for rebellion is not the most practical. Ismene responds with sadness but no action. While this might seem to be a more practical response because it prevents harm from happening, Ismene responds with grief but no action.

After analysing the practicality, the morality question is raised. Antigone did the right thing and stood up for her family. She offered herself as an offering of sacrifice. Is it possible that Ismene was right to avoid further conflict and just grieve for her brother’s loss. It is difficult to understand the magnitude of grief that this situation has caused.

It might be reasonable to say that neither of them was in the right frame of mind to make a practical, moral decision. Their brothers have killed one another, and one may die with honor. It becomes apparent that neither the girl nor her brother responded ethically or practically to this situation. However, they each responded emotionally according their individual personalities.

Antigone, a Sophocles play, includes many complicated situations and relationships. Antigone and Ismene’s story is one example. This tragedy is more powerful when you see the girls dealing with the grief of losing their brothers as well as the sorrow of losing one another in disagreement.

Sophocles is able incorporate human nature into this situation, as the sisters act inexplicably and unethically. This is common in life. Emotions overrule logic and can lead to tragic situations similar to those described in Antigone.


  • jessicawilson

    Jessica Wilson is a 33-year-old essay writer and blogger from the UK. She has been writing since she was a teenager and has always been interested in writing about personal experiences and thoughts. Jessica has written for a number of online magazines and websites and has also published a number of essays and short stories. Jessica currently works as a freelance writer.