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That’s a great question, one that Sophocles does not answer for us in Antigone. Ismene’s final appearance in the play happens in the middle as she asks Antigone to let her share her fate, which is death at Creon ’s pronouncement. Although Ismene is Antigone’s sister, Antigone is harsh...


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That’s an excellent question, one that Sophocles does not answer for us in Antigone. Ismene’s last appearance in the play happens in the middle as she asks Antigone to let her share her fate, which is death at Creon’s pronouncement. Although Ismene is Antigone’s sister, Antigone is harsh with her, not wanting to permit her to suffer the aftermath of a righteous deed (the burying of her brother) which she did not perform.

ISMENE:

No, sister, do not dishonor me, however let me die with you and honor him that passed away.

ANTIGONE:

You may not die through me, nor contact yours that which you did not touch. My fatality is sufficient.

Ismene realizes that without her sister, she has nothing left to live for, so Sophocles simply lets her disshow up and moves on to various other points. The implication below is that someone that does not risk their very own safety to carry out what is ideal is not worth being concerned about.

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