There are many definitions of the word blindness in the dictionary. Two of them pertain to the story about Oedipus and Teiresias. Both of the men are blind, but they each possess a different type of blindness. The type of blindness possessed by Oedipus is probably worse than the type of blindness possessed by Teiresias. Blindness, as defined by the American Heritage Dictionary, can mean one of two things.
The first definition is sightless or complete loss of sight. The second definition is the inability or unwillingness to perceive or understand. This definition would be used in a sentence as: ones blindness to anothers faults. When I think of the word blindness I think of it in two respects. The first way is just not being able to see; this is the type of blindness Helen Keller had.
The second way is someone being unwilling to realize something they know will make them unhappy. I think that the second way can probably be a lot worse than the first because it may make a person extremely frustrated. Even though the first definition may also frustrate some people, they could learn to live with their physical blindness. An emotional blindness would be a lot harder to deal with. Oedipus acts very blindly in this story.
He does not let himself realize that he caused Laius death. He never even lets the thought enter his mind until it is forced upon him. It is very hard to believe that a king would never inquire about the preceding kings death, especially if he is married to that kings wife. Oedipus obviously does not give it too much thought. Oedipus also becomes physically blind, but this physical blindness is caused by his emotional blindness.
His blindness on the outside can not change the blindness on the inside. Teiresias is physically blind, but unlike Oedipus, is aware of the what problems are surrounding him. He knows what the outcome will be if he reveals his knowledge of Laius killer to the people of Thebes and their rulers. Teiresias shows great strength of character to be able to say no to the person who rules him, even if it is for Oedipus own good. Teiresias does not speak because he knows it is for the good of the people of Thebes and for King Oedipus. The type of blindness possessed by Oedipus is probably worse than the blindness possessed by Teiresias. This is because Teiresias can perceive and understand things much better than Oedipus.
It most likely makes Teiresias very content, while Oedipus may be very frustrated at not being able to comprehend things as he should be able to.