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The Allegory of the Cave by Plato | Analysis


The Allegory of the Cave The Allegory of the Cave is also d the Parable of the Cave is a dialogue that is presented by Plato, the Greek philosopher, and mathematician. In his work “The Republic’’ done between 514–520AD, Plato compares the effect of being educated with those of non-educated. The metaphor is written as a dialogue between Glaucon, Plato’s brother, and his mentor, Socrates. The story is narrated by Socrates.

In the Allegory, Socrates illustrates a gathering of persons is living chained to the wall of a cave facing a blank wall in their entire life. All-day long, the people watch shadows cast on the wall by objects passing in front of a fire lit behind them, and begin to assign names to these shadows. According to Plato, the shadows signify the reality that the prisoners are facing. He then explicates how the theorist is like a prisoner who is set free from the cave and realizes that the images on the wall are just vague. This is because the prisoner can perceive the reality rather than the meager shadows observed by the prisoners.

Accordingly, Socrates comments that this metaphor can be related to what was said before, namely the “Analogy of the Divided Line’’ and the “Analogy of the Sun’’. In particular, he likens our perception of the world around us “to the habitation in prison’’, where the sunlight should take the place of the firelight. The view and the ascent of the developed world are the uplifting of the spirit into the world of the mind.

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