Plato's Allegory of the cave.

Essay by amanda1683University, Bachelor'sA+, July 2005

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The allegory of the cave was an analogy of Plato, the greatest of the ancient philosophers. The allegory of the cave was based on the majority of mankind. We are like prisoners chained in a dark cave. There we live from childhood knowing only the dark cave wit ha blazing fire off to a distance. All that is visible to us is shadows made by one another reflected on to the wall of the cave. Bound by the chains we are unable to move or turn around. To us all that is known is what is displayed inside of the cave. We are unable to distinguish our own shadows from our fellow prisoners. The only world we know consists of the sounds and shadows of the cave.

If someday any prisoner is freed from the chains, to him the outside world would be foreign and frightening. The glare of light from the outside world would cause pain to his eyes and he would suffer.

Blinded by the great light he would then hide his eyes. Further he will be unable to notice that the shadows were unreal. Once accustomed to the light he will venture out of the cave. Only then will he realize that the shadows from the cave were not reality. Upon this realization he his take pity on his fellow slaves. He will be ridden of his illusions and accepted his new state.

Once he has accepted reality he will attempt to relay the truth to the chained prisoners. The prisoners in the cave will maintain that he is ridiculous and close their minds to any idea of further seeking the world outside the cave. They will cast out the liberated prisoner to prevent anyone further ascending and trying to free another and lead him towards the...