The main difference between the two sisters is that Ismene is much more obedient than Antigone. The main heroine tries her best to go against the king’s will, while Ismene refuses to do it. Moreover, Antigone is never seen as feminine and beautiful as her sister. It makes her jealous, bitter, and even rebellious.
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In Sophocles’ play, Ismene is perhaps portrayed as the woman that was seen as perfect back in the days. Moreover, the striking differences between her and Antigone help it stand out. First of all, it is obvious how obedient and loyal Ismene is from the very first scene. Her sister wants to bury their brother, which is forbidden by law. Ismene does not want to go against her uncle’s will and become a criminal. Moreover, public opinion seems much more important to her, while Antigone does not care about it at all. Therefore, it can be concluded that laws carry more value to Ismene than principles and traditions, which are so respected by Antigone.
There are also some differences in the level of femininity. Even though Ismene seems shyer and more fearful than Antigone, she is perceived as perfect beauty. All that combined makes her a popular choice of men’s attention. Antigone has never been in the role of a beautiful and elegant woman. It has made her jealous of everything Ismene has. It seems like it also contributed to her decision to break the law. All in all, Ismene is not as bold as Antigone, so she decides not to take the risk and stay away from the troubles.