Creon is a character in two of the ancient Greek playwright Sophocles’ works, Oedipus the King and Antigone. While ostensibly the same character, there are major discrepancies in his characterization in the two plays, either due in part to the interval between when the plays were written, or the needs of Sophocles to use Creon for different purposes.
In Oedipus the King, which was first performed in 429 BCE, Creon is the brother of Queen Jocasta, who is married to Oedipus. As the events of the play unfold, and Oedipus comes to understand how he is fulfilling the curse of the gods, he accuses Creon of wanting the throne for himself. Creon consistently denies such accusations, and only reluctantly takes control of Thebes at the end, after Oedipus has blinded himself.
In Antigone, which was written several years earlier, but is chronologically the last of the Theban plays in terms of theme, Creon serves as the villain of the play, having refused to allow for the burial of Antigone’s brothers. Creon is often characterized in this play as being the antithesis of the values espoused by Antigone.
Creon also appears in the middle play of the trilogy, Oedipus at Colonus. The last of Sophocles’ plays, in this instance Creon is depicted as a colorless politician. These differing characterizations of Creon may simply indicate that Sophocles changed the character to suit the needs of his drama.