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Sisters in The Burial and A Streetcar Named Desire

            "The Burial at Thebes," by Seamus Heany, and, "A Streetcar Named Desire," by Tennessee Williams, both feature second tier women playing important roles, struggling against dominant male power. Although they do not wholeheartedly support their sisters' motives, Ismene's love for Antigone, and Stella's love for Blanche, is undeniable. However, Ismene grows and eventually supports Antigone, because she has no good reason to fail her, while Stella's resistance to Blanche makes sense, due to her habits. .
             Ismene, although innocent, steps up and stands by Antigone, against the man she feared to disobey in the beginning of, "The Burial at Thebes," When Creon, their uncle and ruler of Thebes, declares Antigone's death penalty, he also brings in Ismene. He accuses her for helping her sister. Ismene, who played no part in Antigone's tasks says, "I helped her, yes, if I'm allowed to say so And now I stand with her to take what comes," (The Burial at Thebes, 34). What made Ismene change her mind, where she was ready to face death for a crime she did not commit? Ismene realized that she shared the same goal with Antigone. In other words, all Antigone wanted was a proper burial of her brother, regardless of his status in society.
             Another one of the reasons Ismene opposed Antigone at first, was because she wanted both of them to be alive, as they are the last two members of their immediate family, (pp. 9-10). Therefore, if Antigone takes the fall, Ismene loses her too, which is why she tries to take the fall with her. It is a lose-lose situation for Ismene, as she might see only two options; losing Antigone with shame and regret for putting her fear of Creon over supporting her sister, or dying together for the right reasons with dignity. She chooses dignity and pleads, "Antigone, don't rob me of all honour. Let me die with you and act right by the dead," (p. 35). Antigone objects to her sister's lie, for being part of the deed.

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