Plato 's The Cave Essay

Plato 's The Cave Essay

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In Plato’s dialogue the “allegory of the cave” the student Glaucon asks Socrates why so many people are unenlightened. The figure that Socrates uses to illustrate is a den that chained human beings have lived in since their childhood, and can only see what is before them being prevented by the chains from turning their heads (¶ 1). Above and behind them is a fire blazing at distance; between them are a raised way, like the screen which marionette players have in front of them, over which they show the puppets (¶ 1). In order to understand Plato’s idea of the Good, it is helpful to examine the cave from three separate viewpoints: 1) the plight of the “strange prisoners”; 2) the difficulty of the ascent/the situation of the “liberated prisoner”; and 3) the nature of the “beatific vision.”
Socrates describes that the plight of the “strange prisoners” is due to their ignorance of the Good. The figure that Socrates uses to illustrate is a den that chained human beings have lived in since their childhood, and can only see what is before them being prevented by the chains from turning th...

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