Allegory of the Cave
The Allegory of the Cave is a story contained in the book “Republic’ written by Plato who was a Greek philosopher. Stories in this book are often used to drive philosophical and ethical facts and theories that were proposed by the philosopher. Stories in this book bring out different ideologies and themes that give an idea of the ideas Plato was driving at. This paper will focus on the Allegory of the Cave by discussing various aspects of the book.
Plato in the Allegory of the cave using an extended metaphor has represented the way in which different human beings perceive reality. The main subject matter in the book is the fact that what human beings regard as being imperfect is usually reflections that are indeed the truth of reality. By establishing a cave where prisoners are chained and required to stare at the wall. When one reads the story, it is obvious that two elements of the story strongly come out. The first element is the fictional prisoners who are metaphoric. The second element is the tenets of philosophy that are expected to be represented by the story. The two elements combined bring out the allegory itself.
As the story begins, Socrates describes the cave in a manner in which he points out the fact that the situation the prisoners are in can easily be confused as reality. The conditions of the prisoners is quite a unique one since they are bound in darkens and cannot see what is happen around them. From the description of the prisoners one can see the theme in which Plato was driving at where human beings see other people imperfectness little do they know that in one way or the other there are in the same situation. For example, one might see the life of modern day prisoners very miserable where they are bound handcuffs and have no freedom at all. This is an irony since even those who are free on the outside also have their own handcuffs or jails of life. For instance, one might be chained to alcoholism, which might result in him living a miserable life just as prisoners.
Another way in which Plato brings out the theme of reality, is where a prisoner is released. When the prisoner comes out, he sees the “fire” and other objects that to him are not reality since the reality the prisoner new was that of chains and darkness in the cave. This is clearly brought out where Socrates says “such an one coming suddenly out of the sun to be replaced in his old situation. would he not be certain to have his eyes full of darkness” (Plato 3).
These are just but a few of instances of how the allegory is brought out in the story. Just like other Plato’s works. The title of the story is significant since it gives the reader an idea of what the story is about. For instance as I started reading the book I expected to meet with allegories.
Plato. The Allegory of the Cave. London: P &. L, 2010. Print.
Allegory of the Cave