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Kreon is a figure in Greek mythology best known as the ruler of Thebes in the legend of Oedipus. He had four sons and three daughters with his wife, Eurydike (sometimes known as Heniokhe): Heniokhe, Pyrrha, Megareus (also called Menoekeus), Lykomedes and Haemon. Kreon and his sister, Jocasta, were descendants of Kadmus and of the Spartoi. He is sometimes considered to be same person who purified Amphitryon of the murder of his uncle Elektryon and father of Megara, first wife of Heracles.

In Sophocles

Creon figures prominently in the plays Oedipus the King and Antigone written by Sophocles.

Oedipus the King

In Oedipus the King, Kreon is a brother of queen Jokasta, the wife of King Laius as well as Oedipus. Laius, a previous king of Thebes, had given the rule to Kreon while he went to consult the oracle at Delphi. During Laius's absence, the Sphinx came to Thebes. When word came of Laius's death, Kreon offered the throne of Thebes as well as the hand of his sister (and Laius' widow) Jokasta, to anyone who could free the city from the Sphinx. Oedipus answered the Sphinx's riddle and married Jokasta, unaware that she was his mother. Over the course of the play, as Oedipus comes closer to discovering the truth about Jokasta, Kreon plays a constant role close to him. When Oedipus summons Tiresias to tell him what is plaguing the city and Teiresias tells him that he is the problem, Oedipus accuses Kreon of conspiring against him. Kreon argues that he does not want to rule and would therefore have no incentive to overthrow Oedipus. However, when the truth is revealed about Jokasta, and Oedipus requests to be exiled, it is Kreon who grants his wish and takes the throne in his stead.

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