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Allegory of the Cave vs The Matrix

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     Imagine living through life completely bound and facing a reality that doesn’t even exist. The prisoners in Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” are blind from true reality as well as the people in the movie “The Matrix” written and directed by the Wachowski brothers. They are given false images and they accept what their senses are telling them, and they believe what they are experiencing is all that really exists. Plato the ancient Greek philosopher wrote “The Allegory of the Cave”, to explain the process of enlightenment and what true reality may be. In the movie “The Matrix”, Neo (the main character) was born into a world of illusions called the matrix. His true reality is being controlled by the puppet- handlers called the machines who use the human body as a source of energy. In the movie, Neo, finds and alternate reality and he has to go on a journey to discover himself and what is around him. Much like “The Allegory of the Cave” the prisoners in a dark underground cave, who are chained to the wall, have a view of reality solely based upon this limited view of the cave which is but a poor copy of the real world. Both the prisoners of the cave, and Neo from the Matrix, have to transcend on the path of ‘enlightenment’ to know the truth of their own worlds.

Deep within the cave the prisoners are chained by their necks and have a limited view of reality. Around them, by the distant light of the fire, they only see shadows and outlines of people or objects. From their conclusions of what they may think is real, are false. “The Matrix” parallels Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” in a number of ways. Similar to the prisoners of the cave the humans trapped in the modern day puppet-handlers (the machines) want them to see. In the movie, Neo is a computer hacker, and on day he suddenly realizes that his world is fake, by finding out the truth after he was released from the pod. Neo discovers that what he has been presented with his entire life is only reflections or merely shadows of the truth. The theme is recognized throughout the movie as we see many objects, as well as Neo, reflected in other objects. The puppet-handlers (the machines) represent what Plato calls the influential and powerful members of society. The objects making the shadows in “The Allegory of the Cave” are also creating a false conclusion for the prisoners. In “The Matrix” the puppet-handle...

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...The Matrix” and Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave” almost gives the idea that the movies writers may have had a lot of influence from Plato’s allegory. The creation of this movie gives and futuristic prospective of “The Allegory of the Cave” letting the people who have seen the movie think about reality and the truth. In conclusion, Plato’s story of the cave brings up many philosophical points and most significantly, addresses the topic of society’s role in our lives. On some level, we are all influenced by the thoughts and actions of everyone else, but at the same time, we as humans have the ability to question, make our own conclusions, and finally make our own choices.

     Trinity tells Neo, “The Matrix can not tell you who you are”. Neo is brave enough to walk away and take the red pill, just like the freed prisoner, Neo , and human kind itself, are making the first step towards personal independence.


Plato (2002). Allegory of the Cave. A World of Ideas. L.A. Jacobus. Boston, Bedford/St.martins:313-325.
Larry and Andy Wachowski.(2005). The Matrix: Script. Scriporama.2000.

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