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Allegory of the Cave


Allegory of the Cave Lecturer: Topic: Introduction The Allegory of the Cave is an allegory that Plato, a Greek philosopher, used in his poetic work to demonstrate our attainment of Knowledge and human nature in view of education. The Allegory of the Cave is given after the sun’s metaphor and the analogy of prisoners’ divided line. In this dialogue, there were prisoners who had spent their entire lives chained to a cave’s wall (Brown, 2009). Those prisoners watched projected shadows on the cave’s wall and were instructed to ascribe the observed forms from those projected shadows. This research will focus on explaining why I chose this application of Platos idea and why the application is valid. It will also give two key points that stood out in the article.
I chose this application because it clearly describes a situation in which many people perceive some things to be real only for those things to turn out to be just illusions in life. The projected shadows used in this scenario are meant to help prisoners to clearly view reality even after being released. The choice of this application is valid as it equates the life of philosophers to that one of prisoners. When those prisoners were set free from the secluded cave, they realized that the projected shadows do not connect to reality in any way. Those prisoners used to view shadows as real objects and the produced echoes as real sounds. They did not take them as reflections of reality because echoes and shadows were the only things they had ever heard and seen respectively. Thus they have to view the true reality forms instead of only perceiving them as plain shadows. In addition, the application of “Allegory of the Cave” is valid as it explains the place of philosophers in our society: to enlighten and inform the “prisoners”.
The key points that clearly stood out from the article to me were twofold: the release from the cave and the return to the cave. These two issues, in essence, the separate the “illusory” from the “real” and the “false” from the “true”. The release from the cave indicates that if prisoners are set free and allowed to stand up and someone permitted to show them the objects that had shed those projected shadows, they would not be familiar with them at once; leave alone naming them. Those prisoners would stand to believe that the projected shadows on the cave’s wall are more real as compared to what they see. With time, however, the liberated prisoners would acclimatize and see many more objects around them till they notice the Sun. They would realize that the Sun is not only the source of everything, but also the steward of all visible things. They would understand that every thing they observed was caused by the sun.
Return to the cave demonstrates that after coming back from divine meditations to evils of human, prisoners look ridiculous as well as become graceless. This is particularly true as their sights are still dim and they are not yet accustomed to the darkness of the cave’s surrounding. Such prisoners are compelled elsewhere or in courtrooms to get used to the justice’s shadows and contend with everything in the court of justice (Plato, 1992). This indicates that a person that has common sense has the capability of remembering that the eyes bewilderments result from two conditions, either from entering in the light or from going away from the light. Hence people should pay attention and understand that whether the souls of human beings come from light that is bright is blinded the moment they are confined in darkness or they have come from darkness to a place that is dazzled by more light.
Brown, D. (2009). The Allegory of the Cave. New York: Audio Book Publishers.
Plato, P. (1992). The Allegory of the Cave. Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company.

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