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Allegory Of The Cave Essay

517 words - 3 pages

The Allegory of the Cave is an imaginary, fictitious scenario, described by Plato, in the form of an intellectual dialogue between Socrates and Glaucon.

Contemplate an underground cave inhabited by prisoners since childhood; their necks and legs restrained by chains which prevent any movement other than glaring at a wall ahead.

Socrates goes on to say, the prisoners can observe shadows, projected on the wall carrying various items and if able to converse, they would name what they were seeing. These shadows are all they will ever see and the piece further suggests, the prisoners believe them to be the most real things in the world.

Plato invokes the imagination and sense of feeling when describing the situation of the prisoners when ...view middle of the document...

Despite the conflict in his mind, the piece suggests, he will grow accustomed to his sight of the new world. His life within the confines of the cave was nothing but a fallacy. Now on an intellectual journey, Plato explains how the freed pioneer discovers real shadows, reflections and beauties of the world.

The account proceeds to say how he remembers his old abode and fellow-prisoners and what he knows now, as their pitiful state. He wishes he could liberate them from their unaware state. The piece explores, if he was to return to his former state in the cave, he would rather tolerate anything than to follow the false and miserable beliefs of the prisoners again.

Furthermore, Plato encourages humanity to think of the freed prisoner’s efforts to persuade his companions to acknowledge the truth, which results in futile attempts as they are trapped in their only known ‘reality’.

A strength of this piece is that it strongly suggests Plato believes true reality exists beyond usual perceptions of the world and mankind rely on their senses to understand what is real.
Plato continues to reflect his arguments and assumptions throughout, yet does not provide a clear understanding of what is reality. When suggesting the sun controls the seasons and years and is the guardian of the visible world, Plato does not question who the guardian of the sun is. Whilst creating an image in the readers mind of a world beyond senses, Plato does not conclude with absolute certainty. This appears to be a weakness as his assumptions are left incomplete and unanswered.

In conclusion, I agree partially to Plato’s assumptions, but also question the thought of what would be real in this world if our complete senses were to diminish, leaving only the soul.

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