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OedipusBaschet.jpg

Creon was the main antagonist of the Oedipus Cycle plays and Antigone.

Oedipus Rex

In the first play, Oedipus Rex, Creon served Oedipus with joint power along with Jocasta, Creon's sister and Oedipus' mother and wife. At the beginning of the play, Creon returns from a travel to Delphi where he visited the Oracle of Apollo, who tells him in order to save Thebes from their plague they must simply exile the murderer of Laius, the previous king. He also reveals the murderer is in Thebes and sends for Tiresias to help them find him. After Tiresias reveals the murderer to be Oedipus, Oedipus refuses to believe it and instead suspects a coup between Creon and Tiresias to drive him out of power. When Oedipus accuses him of this, Creon claims to enjoy his "power without responsibility" status and that he would never want to rule as king due to the fear associated with rule. Creon maintains his innocence and leaves. Creon later enforces Oedipus' exile when it is revealed that Oedipus was truly the one who killed Laius on his travels, and not only that, but Laius was Oedipus' father and Jocasta his mother, meaning the prophesy that he would murder his father and marry his mother associated with his birth came true. Jocasta, on discovering this, hangs herself, and then Oedipus stabs pins in his own eyes saying, "How can I look them in the eyes in the afterlife?" "How can I ever see joy again?" and "How can I look my cursed daughters in the eyes knowing nobody will ever marry them?". Creon promptly tells Oedipus to get back inside and stop drawing attention to himself in his laments, because it is unholy to see himself in this state. Creon does give one act of kindness at the end of the play, where he brings Oedipus his daughters so they can say their farewells. He draws a close to Oedipus' goodbyes saying, "You have cried enough," and a screaming Oedipus is thrown out of Thebes, as per his will, however without his daughters. Creon tells him not to try and take more than he deserves, as the things he mastered in life are no more.

Oedipus at Colonus

In the second play, Oedipus at Colonus, Creon serves a slightly more antagonistic role. Upon hearing that a great evil would soon befall Thebes if Oedipus did not return, Creon attempts to trick Oedipus into coming back. When Oedipus refuses, Creon attempts force him to come back by taking his children from him and bringing them back to Thebes, hoping Oedipus will give chase. When this attempt fails, he tries to physically bring Oedipus back, but to no avail.

Antigone

Creon in the 1984 TV version of Antigone.

Creon shows true evil in the final play, Antigone, when he denies a burial to his dead son, Polynices, for waging war against Thebes to earn back his throne. He declared that Polynices's corpse would rot out in a field where buzzards and dogs could feast upon it, and that none should mourn him. When his niece, Antigone, defies his law and buries Polynices out of love for her brother, Creon, ultimately, imprisons her inside of a small vault, where she hangs herself.

Creon is later killed when Lycus invades Thebes and takes the crown.

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