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Platos Summary Of The Cave Essay

713 words - 3 pages

Plato’s Allegory of the Cave

Plato’s allegory of the cave is a famous piece derived from his book the Republic. The cave is famed to be a conversation between Socrates, Plato’s respected mentor, and another one of Socrates’ followers, Glaucon. Additionally, Plato’s allegory is meant to be a depiction of the effects of education on society and Plato expresses his abhorrence with how society has ultimately ostracized philosophers out of ignorance of the philosopher’s teachings. The philosopher’s teachings are attempts to enlighten the prisoners who are bound by chains so they can vicariously experience the true good in the world.
Socrates, in this conversation with Glaucon, paints a ...view middle of the document...

Eventually, the prisoner’s eyes are strong enough to gaze above and peer at the glorious heavens and the true source of light, the sun. Finally, the prisoner is overwhelmed by seeing the true source of light and realizes that its beauty illuminates everything around him and is the source of everything good he experiences in the world. Furthermore, the gifted prisoner realizes that understanding of the real forms should not be selfishly indulged but he is called to enlighten his imprisoned peers about what these shadows actually are so they can vicariously experience the full beauty of these forms. Subsequently, his fellow inmates’ minds are incapable of comprehending his descriptions and reject his teachings as lies. Out of ignorance, the other prisoners who embrace the shadowed statues as reality castigate and kill the benevolent teacher.
This allegory expresses Plato’s concept of education in a republic. The prisoners memorizing the shadows represent the general population who do not fully experience the forms. They accept simplistic teachings seeing the world like dimly lit shadows; they never asks hard questions to bring light to the shadowed forms. However, the freed prisoner represents a philosopher’s...

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