Allegory of the Cave

6 June 2016

Plato is considered as one of the greatest thinkers of all time. He was the student of Socrates and mentor of Aristotle. His Allegory of the Cave can be found in Book VII of the book The Republic. Plato uses the story to explain the theory of dualism and the two world theory in knowledge. Allegory is a kind of metaphor to explain and differentiate two things. It has two meanings, the literal meaning in the story and the symbolical meaning.

In the story, the people in the cave view the shadows that they can see as the reality or truth. The prisoners represent the people and the cave represents the physical and material world that we sense and live. Another symbol in the allegory is the chain or imprisonment of the people in the cave. It is the belief and sophistry of the people that leads them to the false reality and far away from the truth.

Allegory of the Cave Essay Example

The fire is the source of unintelligible and false truth perceived by the prisoners. Moreover, the puppeteers who use the fire to cast shadows are false philosophers that aims to make the prisoners be blinded forever from the reality. The escaped prisoner symbolizes a person that already perceived the real truth by looking and observing the things outside the cave. He can also be perceived as the philosopher.


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