The Allegory Of The Cave Essay

The Allegory Of The Cave Essay

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Throughout the course of history, mankind has unceasingly strived to comprehend the purpose of our existence. Who are we? Why are we here? While many different conclusions to these questions have emerged, Plato shared Socrates’ believe that ignorance is the mind’s natural state and that our human existence is meant to be lived seeking true knowledge through debate and questioning. In “The Allegory of the Cave” from The Republic, Plato depicts a cave where prisoners are chained from their childhood to grow up only looking at the back of the cave wall. Above and behind them is a fire with a wall standing in front of it where puppeteers hold various figured objects in front of the fire to create dancing shadows on the wall. The prisoners, seeing these reflections, assume this to be reality because it is the only reality that they know of. If they were freed from their chains, then they would become aware of the falsehood of their reality once they turned and saw the puppeteer in front of the fire. Only when they explore outside of the cave itself, will they obtain wisdom and moral understanding. Plato manifests his philosophical theories from the influence of Socrates’ death, incorporates Socratic dialogue throughout the work, and utilizes symbolism within the allegory in order to emend humans of their ignorance through his philosophy of education through reason in order to create a more ethical and just society.
Although many philosophers influenced Plato’s ideology, Socrates himself, and also his arranged death, held the greatest influence on his beliefs and philosophical writings. While Plato had originally intended on becoming a politician, he was impressed by Socrates’ methods of debate and shifted his focus to living a life of...


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...rld, and the immediate source of reason and turth in the intellectual’” (Plato 550). Embodied as the sun outside of the cave in the allegory, the Form of the Good outshines the darkness of ignorance and carries the mind and soul outside of the body and into the light of goodness. Plato uses the Theory of Forms to convey ignorance as evil and knowledge as the source of all things good.
In Plato’s philosophical dialogue, “Allegory of the Cave,” he dedicates his work to as well as develops his ideology from the influence of Socrates, unifies his purpose through the use of Socratic dialogue, and expresses his philosophical theories through symbolism. All of these processes are applied with the aspiration to liberate people worldwide of their ignorance through examination of the mind and soul. So, who are we? Why are we here? Explore for yourself, as wisdom lies within.

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