Preview
Preview

Analysis of Plato's Allegory of the Cave Essay

:: 2 Works Cited
Length: 983 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Analysis of Plato's Allegory of the Cave


Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" presents a vision of humans as slaves chained in front of a fire observing the shadows of things on the cave wall in front of them. The shadows are the only "reality" the slaves know. Plato argues that there is a basic flaw in how we humans mistake our limited perceptions as reality, truth and goodness. The allegory reveals how that flaw affects our education, our spirituality and our politics.

The flaw that Plato speaks about is trusting as real, what one sees - believing absolutely that what one sees is true. In The Allegory of the Cave, the slaves in the caves know that the shadows, thrown on the wall by the fire behind them, are real. If they were to talk to the shadows echoes would make the shadows appear to talk back. To the slaves "the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the images." (Jacobus 316).

In the allegory, a slave is then brought out of the cave, in what Plato refers to as "he ascent of the soul into the intellectual world" (Jacobus 319). Once out of the cave the slave discovers that what he thought was real is not. He learns to comprehend all of these new images as real and true. Since he has been in the dark, both literally and metaphorically, the light blinds him.

Representing knowledge, the light is too brilliant for him to see and comprhend. He must be re-educated. "First he will see the shadows best, next the reflections of the men and other objects? then the objects themselves" (Jacobus 317). He learns that the reflections are truer than shadows and the objects truer than reflections. He must deal with a new reality that does not exist within the cave.

Plato says that these people who a...


... middle of paper ...


...ary friend when we are younger. Our imaginary friend is very real to us, but as we get older or make the ascent to the world of knowledge, we reject our imaginary friends. We are faced with a different reality where we start to believe that what our eyes show us is the only truth. We forget to question things and don't realize that maybe there is yet another ascent, out of this bigger "cave" of the light.

Human beings' knowledge of goodness, reality, and truth will always be limited by our fear of new ideas and new perspectives. As long as we are afraid of questioning, we will be willing to "put to death" anyone who ascends and returns to the cave with the truth.

Work Cited

Corinthians II, The New Jerusalem Bible. Henry Wansbrough, gen. ed. New York:
Doubleday, 2005.

Jacobus, Lee A. A World of Ideas. 7th Edition Boston: Bedford/St. Martins. 2006.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Analysis of Plato's Allegory of the Cave Essay - Analysis of Plato's Allegory of the Cave Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" presents a vision of humans as slaves chained in front of a fire observing the shadows of things on the cave wall in front of them. The shadows are the only "reality" the slaves know. Plato argues that there is a basic flaw in how we humans mistake our limited perceptions as reality, truth and goodness. The allegory reveals how that flaw affects our education, our spirituality and our politics. The flaw that Plato speaks about is trusting as real, what one sees - believing absolutely that what one sees is true....   [tags: Papers Plato Allegory Perspectives Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
983 words
(2.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Analysis of The Allegory of the Cave by Plato Essay - An Analysis of "The Allegory of the Cave" by Plato The Allegory of the Cave is Plato's explanation of the education of the soul toward enlightenment. He sees it as what happens when someone is educated to the level of philosopher. He contends that they must "go back into the cave" or return to the everyday world of politics, greed and power struggles. The Allegory also attacks people who rely upon or are slaves to their senses. The chains that bind the prisoners are the senses. The fun of the allegory is to try to put all the details of the cave into your interpretation....   [tags: Philosophy Plato] 5691 words
(16.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Analysis of The Allegory of the Cave by Plato, and Dualism Essay - ... This glimpse into Plato’s teachings will include an explanation of the “Allegory of the Cave,” and some thoughts on whether dualism exists or Plato is wrong in his claim that reality is beyond the material world. Plato’s allegory of the cave is an example of what Plato deems “the accent of the mind to true knowledge.” In the parable, the prisoners at the bottom of the cave represent the obliviousness of humans to what Plato believes constitutes true knowledge. What they judge to be reality is only a shadow depicted on the wall of the cave....   [tags: Knowledge, Light, Philosophy]
:: 1 Works Cited
794 words
(2.3 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Plato's The Republic: Analysis of the Chapter Entitled "Allegory of the Cave" - One of the world’s most revered philosophers, Plato, was born in 428 BC. As a young man, Plato, became a devout student of Socrates. Plato quickly adopted Socrates’ teachings and turned his studies toward the question of virtue and noble character. After the execution of his beloved mentor, Plato founded the first English university called the Academy. He wanted thinkers to have a place were they could word toward better government for Greek cities. Over the duration of his life Plato wrote many books, and his most influential work is The Republic....   [tags: The Republic, Plato] 582 words
(1.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
An Analysis of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave and the Importance of Light in Discovering Truth - In The Republic, Plato introduces a philosophy that transcends the exclusivity of the contemplative and the active lives. He defines the ultimate truth as “aletheia”, which literally translates to mean “unhidden” or “that which does not remain unnoticed”. Through his use of the term and his allegory of the cave, Plato makes the strong implication that philosophers must actively seek to discover the absolute truth, rather than relying on traditional methods of contemplation and the persuasive tone of rhetoric to prove its existence....   [tags: Greek Literature]
:: 1 Works Cited
1134 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Dissonance from the Allegory of the Cave by Plato - ... They do not understand things in the way that I do now, and think every fact I have told them is unproven and untrue. I will provide love and support for my nieces and nephew in any way I can, and the rest is out of my control. My next question was a result of drifting from my extended family. Normally I can call my mom or dad and ask for money any time we are in serious need. However, recent disagreements between myself and my verbally abusive father have led me to cut all contact with him I do not want my child exposed to his irrational behavior....   [tags: Plato's Allegory, philosophical analysis] 706 words
(2 pages)
Research Papers [preview]
The Allegory of The Cave, by Plato Essay - Plato’s logical strategy in the allegory of the cave is of deductive reasoning. Plato uses a cave containing people bound by chains which constrict their neck and legs in such a way that they are unable to turn around and there is a fire roaring behind them casting shadows on the wall. Since the prisoners cannot turn their heads to see what is casting the shadow the only thing they can perceive are the shadows and the sounds that seem to becoming from them. This is what Plato argues in the allegory of the cave “To them, I said, the truth would literally be nothing but the shadows of the images.”(The Allegory of the Cave Plato)....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Rhetoric]
:: 1 Works Cited
868 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Allegory of the Cave by Plato Essay - ... The comfort of the perceived and the fear of the unrecognized would either force the prisoner to return back or to climb out of the cave and step into the sun. In this case, it is the outside world the prisoner chooses and begins his steep ascent of the cave. After the prisoner climbs out of the cave and steps into the sun, Socrates continues on to explain the prisoner’s fear and blindness to the objects he was now being told were real. A person’s natural reaction would be to realize the shadows and reflections for what they are....   [tags: philosophical analysis] 902 words
(2.6 pages)
Research Papers [preview]
Plato's Allegory of The Cave Essay - ... This illusion had sounds and echoes of real words and voices. Socrates was described in the dialog as very brave and different he even informed other prisoners that the cave was a prison house to capture their souls. And that there is more to gain outside of the cave. According to Socrates none of the prisoners wanted overcome the cave and to be free they were fed and had no idea of the outside world beyond the cave walls. The prisoners seemed to be comfortable and happy in the cave. They had rules and regulation to abide by and could not even think for themselves....   [tags: society, people. literary analysis] 745 words
(2.1 pages)
Research Papers [preview]
Essay about Similarities in Plato's Allegory of the Cave and A Tale of Two Cities - The rigorous and troublesome times of the eighteenth century brought forth much darkness and suffering, but from this oppression came contentment and light. From the opening paragraph, light and dark are contrasted in A Tale of Two Cities, with the use of direct opposites to portray the times. The Allegory of the Cave by Plato also goes along with this theme. It is a symbolic depiction of prisoners held in a cave without a true perception of reality. They are brought up looking at only the shadows of what really exists until finally one is released and travels out of the cave into the radiant world above....   [tags: Literary Comparison, Literary Analysis] 673 words
(1.9 pages)
Better Essays [preview]