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Ismene, like Creon, is very much a product of her time and place. Just as Creon acts according to the accepted standards of masculinity, Ismeme embodies the prevailing standards of femininity. She is meek, submissive, and compliant towards Creon, exactly how women in ancient Greece were expected to behave. Creon doesn't remotely contemplate challenging society's rigidly constructed gender roles. He is king, and as such, his word is law. Antigone, as both a subject and a woman, must yield to his will—or else. Ismene, by complying with Creon's express command, is also tacitly accepting the very circumscribed role that society has given her. Antigone's defiance of Creon is as incomprehensible to her as it is deeply insulting to Creon. For good or ill, both Ismeme and Creon have chosen to live and die by society's rules, unlike Antigone, who answers to a higher law than mere social convention.

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