The Ties That Bind: How Are Antigone And Ismene Related?

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how are antigone and ismene related?

How Are Antigone And Ismene Related?

In exploring the relationship between Antigone and Ismene, it becomes evident that their bond is not only shaped by their familial ties, but also by their differing perspectives on duty and loyalty. Antigone’s unwavering commitment to burying their brother, Polynices, despite the decree of their uncle, King Creon, puts her at odds with Ismene’s more pragmatic approach. This conflict serves as a catalyst for examining the complexities of familial loyalty, personal convictions, and the consequences of defying societal norms.

The Background of Antigone and Ismene

The Legend of Oedipus

Antigone and Ismene, the main characters in the Greek mythological story, are closely related through their shared lineage. They are the daughters of Oedipus, a tragic hero whose story is renowned for its twists and turns.

Oedipus, the son of King Laius and Queen Jocasta, was destined to bring calamity to his family. As foretold by the Oracle of Delphi, Oedipus unknowingly fulfilled a prophecy by committing patricide and incest. He killed his father and married his mother, resulting in a curse that plagued his entire bloodline.

The Daughters of Oedipus

Antigone and Ismene, despite being sisters, have distinct personalities and contrasting beliefs. These differences shape their relationship and influence the choices they make throughout the story.

Antigone is a defiant and fiercely loyal character. She values familial duty above all else, prioritizing her obligation to honor and bury her brother, Polynices, who was denied a proper burial due to his actions against their city-state. Antigone’s unwavering determination to uphold her family’s honor and the gods’ laws drives her actions, even in the face of societal norms and the king’s decree.

In contrast, Ismene is more cautious and conforming. She understands the risks involved in defying the king’s orders and recognizes the importance of respecting authority and societal norms. Ismene’s practicality often clashes with Antigone’s rebellious nature, leading to conflict between the sisters.

Despite their differences, Antigone and Ismene share a bond grounded in their shared history and love for each other. While Ismene may not always agree with Antigone’s choices, she does care deeply for her sister and is concerned about the potential repercussions of Antigone’s actions.

The Relationship Between Antigone And Ismene

Sibling Bond in Ancient Greek Culture

In ancient Greek culture, the relationship between siblings was of utmost importance. Siblings were not only bound by blood, but also by a shared history, common experiences, and familial responsibilities. This is especially evident in the relationship between Antigone and Ismene, the daughters of Oedipus and Jocasta.

The Dynamic Between Antigone And Ismene

Antigone and Ismene, although sisters, possess contrasting personalities and beliefs, which shape the complexities of their relationship. Antigone is rebellious, strong-willed, and fiercely loyal to her family’s honor. She is willing to defy societal norms and risk her own life to bury their brother Polynices, who was condemned to remain unburied by the state. On the other hand, Ismene is more cautious and conforming. She is concerned about the consequences of defying the king’s decree and chooses to abide by the law, even if it means leaving their brother’s body unburied.

Common Interests And Shared Values

While Antigone and Ismene may differ in their approach to loyalty and duty, they do share some common interests and values. Both sisters hold a deep respect for their family and their lineage, understanding the importance of honoring their ancestors. They also share a devotion to the gods and believe in the power of divine justice. These shared values create a foundation of understanding and solidarity between the sisters, even in the face of adversity.

Although their relationship is fraught with tension and discord, it is important to recognize that Antigone and Ismene’s bond as siblings is unbreakable. They are both products of a cursed lineage and are burdened with the tragedies of their family. Their contrasting personalities and conflicting perspectives on duty and loyalty serve to highlight the complexities of familial relationships and the consequences of defying societal expectations.


Antigone and Ismene’s relationship in Greek mythology is a fascinating exploration of contrasting personalities and beliefs. Antigone’s rebellious nature and loyalty to her family clash with Ismene’s cautious and conforming demeanor. This dynamic creates conflicts and dramatic consequences, shedding light on the complexities of familial loyalty, personal convictions, and the consequences of defying societal norms.Together, Antigone and Ismene challenge Creon’s authority and assert their own beliefs, demonstrating the strength of their bond and the importance of standing up for one’s convictions. The story of Antigone and Ismene continues to resonate with audiences today, serving as a reminder of the enduring relevance of familial loyalty and the complexities of personal convictions.

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Hello Moms! I am Alice (Allie). Founder of HerScoop. I am Mom Blogger and Mom of 2 Boys.