Oddly enough, Antigone was the first of the famous trilogy written by Sophocles: Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone. For, Antigone's father was Oedipus, the King of Thebes and one would expect the Oedipus plays to precede Antigone.
Oedipus and Iocaste have two daughters, Antigone and Ismene, and two sons, Eteocles and Polyneices. After Oedipus discovers that he is the cause of the plague that besets Thebes because he has unknowingly killed his father Laios and married his mother, he blinds himself as a punishment for having been blind to the truth. Although Oedipus asks to be exiled, Creon orders him to remain until the will of the gods is revealed. For some years, Oedipus remains; then, Creon and the Theban elders decide that he should be exiled; however, by this time, Oedipus wishes to remain. When his sons do nothing to aid him, Oedipus departs with his daughters to wander as a beggar. He curses his ungrateful sons, but as an old man Oedipus finally dies in peace at Colonus. After his daughters are assured that no mortal may approach their father's hidden tomb, they return to Thebes.
Creon rules in Thebes until the sons of Oedipus decide that they should reign. Creon sides with Eteocles, and Polyneices is exiled. However, he raises a force among the Argives, the people of his wife. His troops arrive at the seven gates of Thebes; the brothers meet and slay each other, fulfilling the curse of their father. Because he sided with Creon, Eteocles is buried with honors, but Polyneices is left unburied as an enemy of the state, an extremely harsh ruling because of the beliefs of the ancient Greeks. It is at this point that the play begins as Antigone decides to defy Creon's decree and bury her brother.