Sorry for being so inactive this week ! I fought another round of boxing with school and it knocked out three of my teeth. Other then that , I think I’m fine .
Oh come on ! I don’t remember it being that bad!
Hmmm… then again, I don’t remember what year this is now . I guess you can say… I got schooled.
This week I read ” Antigone” in class , and after reading it got me thinking . Are you a good person for helping your family even if it means going against the law or are you a good person by not helping your family but instead following the law. Antigone and her sister Ismene demonstrate the two sides of this argument. Antigone represents the ‘help the family out’ side and Ismene representing ‘ following the rules’ side. Antigone argues with her sister that they should go against the law and bury their brother while Ismene argues that they shouldn’t and instead follow the law. Whose’s the ‘good guy’ in this argument? In my opinion, no one is . Why you ask ? Well, let’s take a closer look at both of the girl’s side.
From what ” Oedipus at Colonus” has shown us, Antigone values family very much. She had stayed with Oedipus for a long amount of time to take care of him until his death, and when she met Ismene and Polynices , she was overjoyed and spoke in a very kind and loving manner to both of them. Even when Oedipus was overcome with bitterness and hatred towards Polynices’ treachery, never once did Antigone ever thought negatively about her brother, almost to the point where it appeared that she’s not even aware of what he did to their own father. Yet in ” Antigone” when her dear sister Ismene refuses to help bury Polynices , we see a new side of Antigone. She becomes scornful and bitter to her own sister for not wanting to help bury Polynices, which seems quite out of character for her , regarding that she was still very kind and loving towards him, even thought he had forsaken Oedipus and left him to live the life as an exile.( In my opinion, Ismene and Polynices did very similar actions but got different reactions from Antigone. They both refused to ‘give love’ towards a family member in their time of need because they were following the law, but while Antigone adored Polynices to the end even thought he did noting against Oedipus’ exile nor help him during his banishment , she openly scorned Ismene for not wanting to help bury their brother. Does she have something against her sister ? Who knows). Overall, her morals are based off the concept of being a good daughter and sister. Does this make her a good family member ? Of course ! But does this make her a good member of society ? Not really… Just think about if. If Polynices or Oedipus had been a dangerous criminal instead and she decided to help them because they’re her family, is she really doing a good deed? By protecting them, she’s endangering the lives of other people for it allows them to have a greater leeway do what they please.
Ismene on the hand, values family as well but not to such a degree in where she will harm herself for her family. From what they gave us in ” Oedipus at Colonus”, Ismene was off doing her own thing in Thebes but when she heard about the prophecy about her father,she rode to Colonus to give him the news personally. This shows that she does care about her family and isn’t as heartless as Antigone views her. However, there’s a fine, fine line on how far she will go for her family. Even thought she loves her family, she isn’t willing to do things that will harm her in the process. When Antigone asks her to help bury Polynices, Ismene recognizes the authority of the law, and the consequences of breaking itto bury her brother, so she refuses . Yet, she isn’t ‘selfish’ as Antigone thinks she is. Ismene frantically tries to persuade Antigone not to act out her plan, fearing greatly for her sister’s well-being. Overall, it is clear that Ismene is not one to flirt with danger, instead playing it safe even if it means abandoning love ones. Does this make her a good family member ? Of course not. She’s puts herself first before her family, making sure that she’s going to be safe before acting. But does this make her a good member of society ? Yes, indeed. Let’s think about that previous example about Polynices being a dangerous criminal again. Because Ismene is refusing to help him, she hinders his ‘process’ and makes it harder for him to reach his diabolical goals. In a way, by refusing to aid him, she is protecting the lives of other people for it limits his ‘free time’ to plan and act.
In the end, both girls are both heroes and villains of the story, depending on your view on them . Basing your opinion off on your morals, you might view one sister as the more honorable one because you sympathize with them more easily .It really just depends on how you feel about their mind-set.
From your Faithful Student,