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Explain how you would perform the role of Ismene in her first appearance in the play to engage the sympathy of the audience Essay

In order to engage sympathy I would perform Ismene as a 30 – 40 year old woman (at least 10 years older than Antigone) who is quite business-like and appears to the audience as if she can handle herself. The first signs of beauty have just faded from her face and she has developed a little fat around her stomach. The play would be set in a fictional place and as such there would be no set era of human history, because of this I would have Ismene dressed in an unbecoming suit, which looks very masculine and only has stock colours of black and white.

In scene one I would have entered first, looking quite purposeful, seemingly prepared for whatever was to come. Then I would stand center stage for about thirty seconds, gradually getting more and more agitated, constantly looking at a pocket watch in my left pocket. Then there would be a noise heard in the distance and I would hurry over to downstage right and hide behind one of the pillars so that the audience would be able to see me but anyone who entered would not.

At this point Antigone would flounce in from upstage right. Antigone would be around the age of 18, dressed also in a suit, however her suit would be much more feminine and vibrant colours, she would have a skirt which was hitched up too high and her jacket would be open exposing a top which exposed slightly too much skin. She would have blood red lipstick on and far too much makeup on her face.

After hearing Antigone enter I would take a moment to prepare and try to calm myself. I would then reveal myself from behind the column but I would remain nearer to the column than Antigone herself. There would be a few moments of silence where we just looked at each other and then Antigone would speak.

In her first line Antigone’s tone would be quite calm and composed. However I would be trying not to make eye contact with her as she was talking about an aspect of our past, which neither of us was proud of. However Antigone would
add a hint of venom on the word “care” in the final sentence of her line at which point I would finally look her in the eye, almost defiantly and take a moment to consider what I would say next.

Throughout the scene I would be trying to convince Antigone that what she was doing was going to get her killed and that even though what she was doing was morally right it was not worth her loosing her life over. Also I would be trying to bond with Antigone and trying to keep us both together. While Antigone would constantly keep rejecting me, or even attempting to make me suffer. For example in the speech on page 5 I would emphasize every time it says “we” in an attempt to show Antigone that we are on the same side. In reply to this Antigone would just brush this off and put even more emphasis on saying “I” Her tone would also seem very righteous and full of herself.

There are many lines that I would use to gain the sympathy of the audience, for example. When Antigone says, “Yes I want to frighten you” I would look taken aback and hurt and shocked all at once, mirroring how the audience would have reacted to such an unexpected line. Also when I say, “we are ruled by the more powerful” I would say that as if it was fact and there was nothing we could do to help it, I would also at that point seem very helpless and exposed. At this point Antigone would see this and would drive the knife in deeper saying her next line with such venom that it leaves me speechless.

Throughout the scene I would be getting more and more desperate, almost pleading with Antigone at some points. While Antigone would be almost reveling in the fact that she made me feel so terrible. And finally on page seven I would compose myself, stand up straight, look Antigone straight in the eyes and say my final line before finally allowing a single tear to roll down my face as I watch Antigone storm off downstage right and I would exit upstage left.

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