The play "Antigone" by Sophocles, is unquestionably a tragedy, however the question remains: whose tragedy is it? In essence, is it a tragedy for one or two characters in the play or is it rather a tragedy for the entire populace of the city of Thebes? It is a tragedy in varying degrees, from somewhat tragic to extremely tragic. Analyzing the play it is easy to see tragedy from beginning to end. It's also simple to see all main characters and even those in the background, the citizens of Thebes, experience some form of tragedy. .
Thebes as a whole, and the citizens of the city, are at the lesser end of the scale of tragedy. Before the play even begins, the city has already experienced a degree of tragedy from being under the rule of a King who unknowingly not only has married his mother but also created four children with her. As the play starts the future heirs of the city, the brothers, lay dead on the field of battle from the others' hands. This alone is a tragedy for Thebes, yet it goes beyond this when the next male figure of the royal family steps into rule: the Uncle. Now Thebes is forced under the leadership of a ruler that should have never been, Kreon. .
As we progress up the ladder of tragedy I would say that next on the rung would be Ismene, sister to Antigone. Like the city of Thebes, when the play starts Ismene has already endured numerous tragedies such as the death of her mother, the shame of her father, and the death of her brothers whom fell at the hands of one each other. Unlike the city of Thebes who experienced a broad and general tragedy, Ismene's tragedies were very personal. At the start of the play, Ismene finds herself enduring yet another tragedy, having to abandon her sister in honoring their brother. Simply put she feels as though she has no choice because it is not a woman's place to question the laws of men. Upon the death of Antigone she is tragically left alone in the world.