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Ismene (; , Ismēnē) is the name of the daughter and half-sister of Oedipus, daughter and granddaughter of Jocasta, and sister of Antigone, Eteocles, and Polynices. She appears in several plays of Sophocles: at the end of Oedipus the King, in Oedipus at Colonus and in Antigone. She also appears at the end of Aeschylus' Seven Against Thebes.

When Oedipus stepped down as King of Thebes, he gave the kingdom to Eteocles and Polynices, who both agreed to alternate the throne every year. However, after the first year, Eteocles refused to step down and Polynices attacked Thebes with his supporters (the Seven Against Thebes). Both brothers died in the battle. King Creon, who ascended to the throne of Thebes, decreed that Polynices was not to be buried, but left to rot on pain of death.

However, Antigone defied the order and was caught. In the opening scene of the play when Antigone is about to perform the burial rituals on Polynices, Ismene serves as the compassionate but rational and prudent counterpart to Antigone's headstrong style of decision-making with no regard for consequence. While Antigone resolves to honor her brother at all costs, Ismene laments that while she too loves her brother, her disposition does not allow her to defy the state and become an outlaw. Once Antigone was caught, in spite of her betrothal to his son Haemon, Creon decreed that she was to be buried alive. Ismene then declared she had aided Antigone and wanted the same fate, though she did not participate in the crime. Antigone refused to let her be martyred for a cause she did not stand up for. She even seems to forget her sister exists, calling herself the 'last descendant of Oedipus.'

Thus, it is apparent that Ismene serves as a foil for Antigone; she is the “compliant citizen” to her sister’s “conscientious objector.” While she is loyal and willing to die at her sister’s side, she does not make the same bold, defiant stand that Antigone does. Like Haemon, she is a reasonable, sympathetic person whose fate is tied to the far more fanatical Antigone and Creon.

However, in Aeschylus' play, Seven Against Thebes, Ismene and Antigone sing a funeral dirge together for both of their brothers.

The 7th century BC poet Mimnermus accounts that Ismene was murdered by Tydeus. This is mentioned in no other extant Classical writing, but the scene is represented on a 6th-century Corinthian black-figure amphora now housed in the Louvre.

Ismene (plant)

Ismene, or Peruvian daffodil, is a genus of South American plants in the Amaryllis family. The species are native to Peru and Ecuador and widely cultivated elsewhere as ornamentals because of their large, showy flowers.

Ismene produces tender perennial bulbs bearing a strong resemblance to those of Hymenocallis, a genus into which Ismene had often been grouped in the past. However, its morphology differs from Hymenocallis in several significant ways: its vegetation, natural range, and chromosome number are all distinct.

Ismene can be difficult to grow in the United States.

Ismene (moth)

Ismene is a genus of moths of the Crambidae family. It contains only one species, Ismene pelusia, which is found in Egypt.

Ismene (daughter of Asopus)

In Greek mythology, Ismene was a daughter of the river-god Asopus by Metope. The blue berries, near Thebes, was named for her, or for her brother.

Usage examples of "ismene".

Behind him, Ismene crept over to the door and locked it behind him, leaning against it as she let out a trembling sigh.

She suddenly felt the urge to touch Ismene, to feel her and know her in every way possible.

Her tongue began to move rapidly over Ismene while her fingers slid into her.

Emma wiped her eyes as she gently covered Ismene with the blankets and tucked her in, running her hand softly over her cheek before hurrying from the room.

They bowed and curtsied several times around the room, Ismene feeling her heart rise into her throat as she saw the eyes on them.

He watched as Ismene looked back at the two children, her eyes filling with tears.

Cirron had raped Ismene and made him believe that the fault lay with him.

You will find the elf girl named Ismene and bring her to me along with the children of Volchim.

The creature had let him watch helplessly as his attraction towards Ismene was warped and twisted.

He had done his best to fight the creature, keeping it from harming Ismene too badly.

He only hoped that Ismene had managed to escape, he could sense the anger coming from his controller, perhaps she could free him.

They already seemed happier, when Ismene had first arrived their favorite thing to do was to spend the day with the elderly mage.

Further out to sea, Ismene could see dancing whitecaps and the spouting of a pod of whales headed north for the summer.

Startled, Ismene looked up and saw the form of a dragon briefly blotting out the sun as it flew overhead.

Lord Volchim waved a goodbye at the diving shape of Vysthus on the off chance that he was watching and lifted Ismene into her saddle.