Oedipus likes to hold himself as this overconfident and superior being because he possesses an intelligence that surpasses everyone in Thebes. Oedipus's intelligence is shown when Oedipus is leaving Cornith and comes across the city of Thebes. There he meets the monstrous being known as the Sphinx. The Sphinx has a great power over the town of Thebes. This power can only be broken if a tricky riddle is solved. Oedipus solves the riddle and is hailed as savior of the city. He is appointed king and is granted marriage to the former Queen of Thebes. He is also swift with his actions, when finding out that the Gods have struck his town with a plague, because someone had brutally murdered the previous king, he states this proclamation to Thebes:
"As for the criminal, I pray to God- whether it be a lurking thief, or one of a number- I pray that that man's life be consumed in evil and wretchedness and as for me this curse applies no less..."
As you can see Oedipus is determined to keep the city together and away from harm.
Creon is also in favor of holding the city together but he also won't be pushed around. He would never back down from his word or his law. Creon had one law that was broken, it was whoever buries Polyneices would be publicly stoned to death, since Polyneices didn't deserve a proper burial for his actions in war. Creon later finds out that Antigone has buried her brother and Creon replies:
" She has much to learn. The inflexible heart breaks first, the toughest iron cracks first, and the wildest horses bend their neck at the pull of the smallest curb...Breaking the law and boasting of it. Who is the man here she...