In Sophocles' play "Antigone" he writes about the same themes as in "Oedipus Rex" and places different characters into almost the same horrible, chaotic situations. Sophocles writes strongly about his most important key theme, the exploration of human limits. He also touches on the themes of discovery of self, wisdom through suffering, and the struggle between individual conscience versus the state. Sophocles two plays, "Oedipus Rex" and "Antigone", share many characteristics yet also contrast each other in many ways. He changes some of his themes in the two plays as well as some of the characters attitudes, mainly Creon. No matter how much the two plays differ from one another they have one thing that is the most common between the two, suffering. Sophocles depicts the suffering of each character throughout both of the plays. He also changes the opening scenes of the play to show the way the play will be laid out.
During the whole play of "Antigone" the key theme is individual conscience versus the state whereas in "Oedipus Rex" it is the undying search for truth and discovery of self. "Antigone" Sophocles depicts a political, conscience led woman who is in an unending struggle over right and wrong with her uncle, Creon, the King. All throughout "Oedipus Rex" Sophocles shows a powerful and righteous King who is on a determined search to find the truth and himself. The difference in key themes during these plays are significant. Sophocles took two different approaches towards these two plays. The structure in the way that these two plays are set up are also completely different. The themes that contrast in "Antigone" and "Oedipus Rex" are very different yet help bring the two plays to life. Besides these couple of themes that are different there are many themes that are shown in both plays.
Many of the themes that Sophocles presents in "Oedipus Rex" are also seen throughout his play "Antigone". Such themes as: wisdom through suffering, hubris, human and divine justice, sacrifice and salvation, and the exploration of human limits play key roles in "Oedipus Rex" as well as "Antigone". Wisdom through suffering and the exploration of human limits are the most important themes that are shown in both plays. In "Oedipus Rex" the people of Thebes, mainly the chorus knew how high a human can climb yet in "Antigone" they imply that mortals have no boundaries. All throughout "Oedipus Rex" the justice that is served is by a divine power yet in "Antigone" the justice is mainly served by mortals. Even the themes that are the same contrast in one way or another.
The way Sophocles depicts the two main character of his two plays contrast enormously. Oedipus is depicted in a way that is very cosmic and divine whereas Sophocles shows Antigone at a very personal level. In "Oedipus Rex" Oedipus is always standing upon his high and mighty pedestal with all the people of Thebes looking up to him. In "Antigone" Antigone is always shown sneaking around and usually whispering every word she says. During the play "Oedipus Rex" Oedipus business was everyones business yet in "Antigone" everything that Antigone says or does is secretive. Although Oedipus was a King his conscience played a little role in his decision making. In "Antigone" Antigone's conscience plays a key role in all of her decisions and actions.
The role of Creon in the play "Antigone" completely contradicts the role he played in "Oedipus Rex". In "Oedipus Rex" Creon knows his limits and is careful not to cross into the field of the Gods yet in "Antigone" he is very hubristic in his moods and his actions. Sophocles tries to prove the point that a man's character can change quickly after being put into the hotseat. Creon shows that he doesn't have what it takes to be a good ruler. In "Oedipus Rex" Creon plays a very humble role yet in "Antigone" makes the same mistakes as Oedipus did. Creon stresses the quality of loyalty throughout his reign as King. He demands in a very begging way obedience from the elders of Thebes. In "Oedipus Rex" Creon is a wonderful man whois a great role model for humility yet in "Antigone" fails as a man. Sophocles shows Creon making the same dramatic mistakes that Oedipus did during his downfall. During "Oedipus Rex" Creon is concerned