Allegory of the Cave Essay

Submitted By wyjenkins
Words: 994
Pages: 4

The Film
19 Oct 2013

“Allegory of the Cave”

The essence of the myth is a hypothetical script portrayed by Plato in the form of an enlightening conversation between Socrates and his brother, Glaucon. Plato uses the allegory of the cave to demonstrate the life and death of Socrates in which we perceive and believe in what is reality. He begins with the describing a dark cave where prisoners who have been forced to look straight ahead by having their legs and neck fastened. The prisoners are bound to the floor, so they cannot escape and can only see the wall in front of them. From a distance, a huge fire was burning above and behind the prisoners. There was a road-bridge behind the prisoners in which puppeteers were used to cast shadows on the wall. The prisoners perceived the they viewed as reality. The puppeteers cast shadows of all sort of things and associating some of the shadows with sound, therefore, creating an illusion for the prisoners, but the prisoners view this as real. Plato conveys the point that the prisoners would mistaken believe it to be reality. The readers acknowledge that the puppeteers are not real, but the prisoners view them as reality. This is a significant portrayal of the story due to the fact that according to Plato, Socrates was informing people that there was no significant tangible proof that the way society was founded on Gods, had no verification that the societal norms of his day were indeed the truth. It also displays what we view as real from birth is entirely false based on our fictional interpretations of what is reality and Just. To this day, we are still being influence by our parents, teachers, friends, media, and those we spend the majority of our time with. The analogy of the myth of the cave and the life of Socrates are very similar indeed. People are and were being programmed in a sense by the powers that be; to act and believe what they thought were real. Socrates was trying to enlighten people of what they were believing, should have been challenged with the question, “why”? It was so shocking to the people of Socrates’ time to understand or believe that what they had been viewing as reality was not reality at all. The powerful and influential rulers of Socrates’ time wanted to maintain power and influences, therefore having the people believe in something different made them fearful and would change the way things were to be. Change does not come without sacrifice, so the decision to get rid of or end the new ideas was to condemn Socrates. The prisoner was dragged to the light and stunned and dazed, so was Socrates when he realized and visualized what he perceived as reality. Both Socrates and the prisoner were stunned and confused, but gradually realized what was real. Socrates and the prisoner were obsessed with informing people of what they had seen. Socrates was sentenced to die because he merely was trying to get people to think instead of going through the motions and accepting the status quo. He basically challenged the system of his time and paid the ultimate price. Due to the life and times of Socrates, we today are intrigued by his stand and his story, try and logically question the reality that we all are a part of. Sometimes we need to ask, “Why”? We might find the truth and not live an intangible idea or vision handed down generation after generation. (The following exert is from
This is the conversation between Socrates and Glaucon, with a few comments: [Socrates] “And now, I said, let me show in a figure how far our nature is enlightened or unenlightened: --Behold! human beings living in an