When Oedipus decided to release the throne of Thebes, he let his two sons in command; Eteocles and Polynices agreed that they would share the throne in an alternating fashion. However, when the time of Eteocles finished and it was time for Polynices to rule, Eteocles refused, causing the wrath of his brother. Polynices left Thebes and created an army with which he attacked the city. During the battle, both brothers died and Creon became king of the city. The new ruler decided to bury Eteocles in honour, but let Polynices' corpse to rot on the battlefield, as punishment for turning against the city. Antigone implored the king to bury her brother, and eventually defied his commands. Ismene, on the other hand, was the law-abiding sister who despite her great love for her brother, could not allow her sentiment above her sense of duty towards the state.
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