Academic Master


an Essay on Plato’s Allegory of the Cave

The Plato’s Allegory is an extract from the work of Plato reading on the republic. It is an exchange between Glaucon and Socrates about education and the relationship of it with nature. The allegory begins with his mentor discussing a group of humans held in a cave from childhood and shackled to see themselves.

In the given lines, “Behold….heads” {P.51), Plato drives Glaucon into the imagination of a cave where a human is imprisoned from birth. They are forced to see only on the wall that has shadows cast by the sunlight. The scene has fire behind the people with a walkway where other people carry puppets and form a shadow on the wall in front of them. The people can only see the shadows of the creatures behind them; they are not allowed to move. Furthermore, the echoes created by the people behind the wall added sound to the shadows convincing the imprisoners to agree that the voices are of shadows.

In Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, the given line from the conversation, “the truth would……images”, the author made the shadows a reality for the prisoners. It is justified to the point that imprisonment has confined the vision of the prisoners. (P.52) Plato forwards the conversation with the supposition that if one person gets free from imprisonment, he will be allowed to move and look back. The fire behind him would break the illusion of the cast shadows and would cause distress to him. The freed one will realize that the reality was something else. His vision would not be confined anymore. [p.53) He will move towards departure and will approach the sunlight for enlightenment with a clear vision. The pain would be worse for acceptance, but the escaped prisoner would gradually look for stars, moon and sunlight. [p.54) the prisoner would be able to acknowledge the truth and would question the reality. The writer justified it through these words:” better to be …. Manner” {p.53)

Socrates strengthens the argument with Glaucon that only freed prisoners who got enlightened would know the happiness of change and the reality of the world outside the cave. When he returns, the cave prisoners will not embrace the knowledge or the enlightenment and will say that the outside journey has harmed him. They would not like to place themselves on the same route as they are blind to the boundary. (p.54.55)

The analysis of the reading shows that the philosophical journey is difficult as it leads you in a direction where society does not acknowledge one perspective. The people inside the cave play the role of the community. Similarly, prisoners state about us as humans living in society, confined by the physical world. The reality of the world merely stuck to the illusion the things that are in front of us are not what they are. Human beings sense the truth through the physical world, and Plato suggested that accuracy in the world can bring adjustments in the sensing of the things around us through intelligence and knowledge.

I agree with Plato’s take on the philosophical point of view regarding education, wisdom, and justice. From the reading, Plato turned out to be in favour of Republicans and not a fan of democracy. Knowledge is the best key to handling affairs in every aspect of life. Education changes our way of thinking and makes us aware of the truth. An educated person sees things differently. The second point is that everyone has the wisdom and capacity to know the truth, the only point is to get the courage and desire to pursue. A teacher can give you light, but for the conclusion, you have to work out by yourself. Everyone has the innate capacity to learn, adapt, and make decisions through intellect. The journey is painful, but the transformation is successful in life.

Plato made a convincing argument regarding self-realization and critical thinking. Humans should work on themselves to move out of misery or darkness; they should develop the habit of questioning the physical world. Once they grow a critical approach, they will spread out there thinking well to the people. People of the world are living in ignorance. If one wants to take out someone of innocence, a real struggle, intelligence and education about the spiritual things needed. Only then can you impact people with spiritual wisdom and useful knowledge.





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