The Allegory of the Cave

Better Essays
Introduction:
An allegory is a kind of story in which writer intends a second meaning to be read beneath the surface story. One of the most important allegories ever to be gifted to humankind is Allegory of the Cave. Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is one of the most potent and pregnant of allegories that describe human condition in both its fallen and risen states. The Allegory of the Cave is Plato's explanation of the education of the soul toward enlightenment. It is also known as the Analogy of the Cave, Plato's Cave, or the Parable of the Cave. It is written as a fictional dialogue between Plato's teacher Socrates and Plato's brother Glaucon at the beginning of Book VII of The Republic.
The allegory of the cave:
Plato illustrates his dualistic theory his famous allegory of cave. Plato asks us to imagine a dark scene. A group of people has lived in a deep cave since birth, never seeing the light of day. These people are bound so that they cannot look to either side or behind them, but only straight ahead. Behind them is a fire, and behind the fire is a partial wall. On top of the wall are various statues, which are manipulated by another group of people, lying out of sight behind the partial wall. Because of the fire, the statues cast shadows across the wall that the prisoners are facing. The prisoners watch the stories that these shadows play out, and because these shadows are all they ever get to see, they believe them to be the most real things in the world. When they talk to one another about “men,” “women,” “trees,” or “horses,” they are referring to these shadows. These prisoners represent the lowest stage on the line—imagination.
A prisoner is freed from his bonds, and is forced to look at the fire and at the statues themselves. After an initial period of pain and confusion because of direct exposure of his eyes to the light of the fire, the prisoner realizes that what he sees now are things more real than the shadows he has always taken to be reality. He

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    “The Allegory of the Cave” The Allegory of the Cave can be broken down in many ways. It basically states that people are chained to the wall in a cave and they have nothing to look at but the shadows of one another. This is all that they know of that exists; no one has ever been outside the cave. We have to look real hard for the hidden messages or what the author is trying to allude to in this story. I think the main point of this story is the author trying to give us an example of how or the…

    • 526 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The Allegory of the Cave

    • 424 Words
    • 2 Pages

    The Allegory of the Cave How does Plato’s allegory represents the activity of philosophy? 9/23/2010 HZT4Ua Diana MS. The Allegory of the Cave The Allegory of the Cave is a metaphor that can be seen to describe many aspects and situations in life that one had no control or choice over. The reason Plato uses many metaphors in his allegory is to think or ‘philosophize’ about the world around us because in fact our understanding of the world is very limited. This is due to the fact that…

    • 424 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Allegory Of The Cave

    • 1305 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Prisoners in “The Allegory of the Cave” by Plato who are physically chained to the estate only being powerful to see what is in front of them. In the two readings, the authors search and take apart the problem that relations have in not face ready for their worst and not wanting to turn their living to the reform. In the history of “The Lesson” the students are taken out of their sense of comfort, just as the person who got to pilled out of there cave in “The Allegory of the Cave.” The students in…

    • 1305 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Allegory of the Cave

    • 807 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Illustrating Plato’s ‘The Allegory of the Cave’ Camille Rodriguez Mr. Minifie HZT4UR-01 September 28, 2009 Bibliography Pacquette, Paul G. and Gini-Newman, Laura (2003) Philosophy: Questions and Theories. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd. , p.4-63, 117, 440-441 One way to understand philosophy is to draw the meaning of Plato’s story “The Allegory of the Cave” (Philosophy: Q&T, p.8). Plato is a 360 BCE Greek philosopher who focused on metaphysics, ethics, knowledge, and…

    • 807 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Allegory of the cave Based on my own perception those people are imagining things according to what they had been seen in the wall. They only think what they seen and never think other possibilities of what they already seen maybe are just came from their wildest imagination or what they thinks it will appears. I know or I believe that there is a chance for those people who are trying to pursue ever though there’s lot of hindrance and don’t give up don’t be afraid to try and also don’t be afraid…

    • 104 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Allegory of the Cave

    • 908 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Plato’s “The allegory of the Cave” addresses so many different areas of philosophy including, epistemology, metaphysics, asceticism, ethics, etc. In his allegory it is important to seek what Plato is trying to accomplish through locating his rhetorical devices, his tone, his position and arguments, in order to develop meaning to his allegory. Plato’s philosophies include education, interaction, individuality, and human nature to make his statement of what the correct path to “enlightenment” should…

    • 908 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    allegory of the cave

    • 913 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Explain the Allegory of the Cave The allegory of the Cave was made by Plato when he tried to explain human ignorance and how almost all humans don’t see our true reality. It refers to the Cave as what we perceive reality to be and how we are chained to a wall to only see this perceived reality. Plato tries to make us a see a world in which the prison was to be released from his chains. Where he would feel intense pain by the light outside and dazed but the new world he begins to see, where…

    • 913 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    The Allegory of the Cave

    • 1704 Words
    • 6 Pages

    The Allegory of the Cave (also titled Analogy of the Cave, Plato's Cave or Parable of the Cave) is presented by the Greek philosopher Plato in his work The Republic (514a–520a) to compare "...the effect of education (παιδεία) and the lack of it on our nature". It is written as a dialogue between Plato's brother Glaucon and his mentor Socrates, narrated by the latter. The allegory is presented after the Analogy of the Sun (508b–509c) and the Analogy of the Divided Line (509d–513e). All three are characterized…

    • 1704 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Cave Allegory

    • 1121 Words
    • 3 Pages

    February 2013 Allegory of the Cave In his book, Republic, Plato tries to explain justice through different dialogues between Socrates and other people. He explains how to live a just life, what a just society should be, and how just leadership should be taken. One of the arguments he uses to explain justice involves four stages of philosophical education. He describes them through dialogue between Socrates and Glaucon at a dinner party. Socrates uses what is called the allegory of the cave to explain…

    • 1121 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Allegory Of The Cave

    • 575 Words
    • 3 Pages

    his philosophy The Allegory of the Cave that most people are bound to their obliviousness and materialism, either by willful rejection or ignorance, which in turn makes them metaphorically blind to the true nature of reality. For instance, the people chained within the dark cave is a symbol for the world we currently reside in (or was resided in), and the chains represent each one of us, who are either knowingly or unknowingly chained to the material world. The shadows the cave dwellers saw is a metaphor…

    • 575 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays