Essay The Allegory Of The Cave And The Apology

Essay The Allegory Of The Cave And The Apology

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"The Allegory of the Cave" and "The Apology" by Plato explore the methods in which people for themselves, usually through the cultivation of the soul. "The Allegory of the Cave" employs an allegory to highlight the importance of the soul, while "The Apology" focuses on Plato 's beloved mentor, Socrates, and his views on tur value of the soul. Both allegory and dialogue seek to stress the importance of the truth to caring for one 's self. The pursuit of the truth and the care of the self are intricately intertwined; one cannot do without the other. Additionally, both pieces challenge the reader from their complacency and forces them to re-evaluate their lives, calling for lives that better cultivate the soul and take care of the self. From the evaluation of these pieces of writing comes a direct challenge to the lives of the readers, calling for impactful change in lifestyle and purpose, and what it really means to care for one 's self.

The trial of Socrates in ancient Athens provides the backdrop for "The Apology," calling into question Socrates ' effect on Athens -- whether it was more detrimental or more beneficial. Accused of corrupting the youth and believing in other gods rather than those of the state, Socrates defends himself, in accordance to his own beliefs. Facing the death penalty as retribution for his crimes, he claims that " 'You are mistaken... if you think that a man who is worth anything ought to spend his time weighing up the prospects of life and death... He only has one thing to consider in performing an action -- that is, whether he is acting rightly or wrongly, like a good man or a bad one. '" Thus, to Socrates, one 's ideals trumps physical matters of life and death. He also criticizes the Athenians for b...


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...itively affected by it upon its discovery. Instead, he is "... hurtful and useless... the reverse of blind... his keen eyesight is forced into the service of evil, and he is mischievous in proportion to his cleverness..." These people have been corrupted, and use their knowledge of the truth for evil. Self-criticism and self-inquiry prevents this from occurring. If a person constantly checks their life and behavior, they can prevent such negative changes from becoming actualized. Examining and critiquing one 's self results in more self-awareness in one 's thoughts and actions, increasing the chances that one will remain moral and knowledgeable, in pursuit of the truth. This self-inquiry also serves as a check to the soul 's welfare, and constant examining can keep the soul thriving and cared for, leaving the self free from corruption, still knowledgeable and moral.

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