. A Summary of Oedipus the King by Sophocles, and Notes This play, no doubt to Sophocles’ surprise, When first performed took only Second Prize. Summary King Oedipus of Thebes, both good and wise— Or such, in pride, he thinks himself to be— Packs Creon off to Delphi to surmise Why plague has cursed his realm incessantly. “We suffer for a prophesy proved true,” Says Creon. “It was fated that the one, Whose grievous curse we bear—the one who slew King Laius and wed his wife—would be his son.” “That man must die!” King Oedipus replies. “His day of reckoning long overdue!” “Perhaps, but we shall see,” good Creon sighs. “For he who did these awful things, was you!” His wife (and mother) by her own hand, dies. While Oedipus, sore grieved, pokes out his eyes. . Notes We each, it seems, possess a fatal flaw That gnaws upon our soul with tooth and claw. And when (not if) our destiny comes due There’s nothing much that anyone can do. For Oedipus, his sin was god-ordained, And yet, defying the gods, the good king named Himself as cursed to bear the guilt and shame Although it was the gods who were to blame. Because the gods refused to self-condemn He set aside his royal diadem And, though the gods denied his wish to die, He broke with fate and plunged into each eye A pin that innocent Jocasta wore And thus atoned for guilt that others bore. Though life be filled with comedy, we find That tragedy is never far behind. . . Musings on Thomas More’s Utopia “Utopia!” It sounds so nice. A place we all would love to be. Where people “all just get along” In perfect peace and harmony. Did Thomas More, who coined the word, Intend it as a subtle joke? A place where things aren’t what they seem, Behind the mirrors and the smoke? Or did he think that there could be A place that really looks like that? Where people choose their leaders And reject the term, “aristocrat?” Where only criminals are slaves And others’ freedom is declared? Where work is seen as virtue and Where all one owns is freely shared? Where laws are few but one cannot Do much of anything unless the people’s Prince approves it, out Of his beneficent largesse. Where all respect each other’s faith, And no one fights religious wars? Where men choose wives and women husbands Just as if they bought a horse. The word, “Utopia,” itself Might be a helpful, clever clue. For it can mean two different things If spelled with an “Eu” or “U.” In Greek the word, “Eutopia,” Can mean, “good place,” as I recall. But spelling it, “Utopia” Translates to mean, “no place,” at all My guess is that what Thomas wrote Was what I’d call a fantasy, Describing both what never was And what the world will never be. . . James A. Tweedie is a retired pastor living in Long Beach, Washington. He has written and published six novels, one collection of short stories, and three collections of poetry including Mostly Sonnets, all with Dunecrest Press. His poems have been published nationally and internationally in The Lyric, Poetry Salzburg (Austria) Review, California Quarterly, Asses of Parnassus, Lighten Up Online, Better than Starbucks, WestWard Quarterly, Society of Classical Poets, and The Chained Muse.