Rhetorical Analysis: Allegory of the Cave

Topics: Human, Thought, Virtue Pages: 3 (882 words) Published: November 8, 2012
Rhetorical Analysis: Allegory of the Cave
The text I have used to do my rhetorical analysis is the “Allegory of the Cave” by Plato. In this text, Plato gives an explanation of his idea of the situation of humans in respect to knowledge by telling us an allegory.

In his allegory, Plato says that there are a few prisoners seated in a cave behind a small wall facing a big wall. The only thing they can do is looking at the wall in front of them and listen, they cannot even move their neck or the rest of the body since they are tied with ropes. Behind them and the small wall there is a fire and between the fire and the small wall there is a path where some people are carrying figures of animals and people, in order to reflect the figures in the big wall, so that the prisioners see them. Some of the people carrying the figures are also talking so the prisoners might think that the figures are the ones that are talking instead of real people.

One of the prisoners is released, so he begin seeing more real things, such us the figures that were reflected in the big wall (which represents the reflection of the objects in the exterior world), the humans who were carrying them and finally the light of the fire (which represents the sun). The cave has an exit, so he goes to the exit and when he is outside the cave he is blinded by the light of the sun. He will first see the reflections on the water, the objects, the sky during the night with the stars and the moon and eventually the sun during the day.

Plato uses all the time symbolic words, he refers to the humans as the prisoners, what we see as the shadows, the word of the ideas as the nature, the idea of good as the sun and the released prisioner as the philosopher.

Plato understands that only a person how has gotten the idea of good can get the best knowledge since the idea of good is the best of the virtues possible, and he also understands that only the people who have gotten the idea of good and thus the...
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