What Is the Difference Between Oedipus and Creon?

Oedipus and Creon distinguished themselves from one another in the methods of their rule. During his reign over Thebes, Oedipus is portrayed as a good leader who values the lives of his people. “Oedipus demonstrates his honesty, truthfulness, and determination,” according to WriteWork.com. In contrast, Creon is portrayed as cruel and fearsome. The Spark Notes website describes Creon as manipulative, having “the secretive, businesslike air of a politician.”

According to the Cliff’s Notes summary, Oedipus is one of the primary characters of the Oedipus plays — a trilogy of tragedies written by the ancient Greek playwright Sophocles. The first play, “Oedipus the King,” tells the initial story of Oedipus, a young man who was destined to fulfill a terrible prophecy that he would one day murder his father and marry his mother. Even though both he and his birth father King Laius take drastic measures to ensure that the prophecy does not come to pass, Oedipus inadvertently lives up to his tragic fate when he accidentally kills King Laius (his father) and later marries Queen Jocasta (his mother).

According to SparkNotes.com, Creon is the only character to play a prominent role in all three plays. As brother to Queen Jocasta, he is the one responsible for making Oedipus the ruler of Thebes, and is inadvertently responsible for the death of three of Oedipus’ children. Creon does eventually secure the throne of Thebes, but he also loses his family much in the same manner as Oedipus.