Plato's The Republic: Analysis of the Chapter Entitled "Allegory of the Cave"

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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. Out of The Republic comes a chapter entitled “Allegory of the Cave”.(“Plato”) Plato’s Allegory of the Cave describes ignorance and the process of enlightenment. The cave symbolizes a prison for the mind. Cave dwellers only know of the one reality presented in the cave, yet it is not reality at all. The cave dwellers are ignorant, knowing only one way and not trying to broaden their minds. Plato uses chains and shackles to represent the mental bondage of the cave dwellers. In spite of the bondage, few minds are able to break free of ...

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