Philosophy and Reality Essays

Submitted By esp1995
Words: 1427
Pages: 6

Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” is a great piece of writing that serves as something very obvious; a dramatic comparison of what is reality and what we perceive to be reality. Although this is the case, some components of “Allegory of the Cave” cannot be identified as easy as the extended metaphor presented throughout the reading. One component that needs extra analyzing to identify is the allegory of the story, or its philosophical messages. Another component not easily identified is the frictional metaphor that is presented by the prisoners. Misapprehensions of reality and how they prove to contribute to presuming a qualified leader’s responsibilities are disclosed as the story gets analyzed more critically. Two principles, being leadership and government, can be tested by the way one comprehends how crucial reality plays a role in our presence. Plato’s theory of form states that in order for one to have powerful knowledge, one must first acquire the knowledge of the “ideas”. A fictional conversation between between Plato’s brother Glaucon and Socrates opens the “Allegory of the Cave”. The “Allegory of the Cave” shows numerous instances where symbolism is used in a strategic way. In fact, the entire allegory could viewed as taking place in a sequence of several phases. First, the prisoner becomes captive to the cave. Next, they are freed from the chains that restrain them. Continuing, the next phase is the actual venturing into the real world. Finally, the allegory is completed when the prisoner returns to the cave. The cave represents the extent of obliviousness that the chained prisoners posses. The cave also symbolizes the prisoners that believe that what is apparent in their surrounding is reality and the only way to obtain knowledge. For example, the shadows the fire gives off can be used to testify those who believe that reality and knowledge is portrayed in your surroundings for you to see and hear. The prisoners have no choice but to believe that the images portrayed on the wall are true because they have become deceived of reality. Furthermore, another example of symbolism is the prisoner who escapes the disillusion of the cave and ventures out to acknowledge the true reality of the world by representing the philosopher that was looking for knowledge from outside-sources. The fear and doubt of believing different philosophical acknowledgements resembles the return of the prisoner to the cave. A relationship was established between Plato and Socrates to portray the image of the chained prisoners that were mandated to stare at a wall full of shadows and illusions. These Shadows were casted by the terrifying fire sitting behind them. The obliviousness of the prisoners is represented by the shadows as well because they are as close to reality as the prisoners were gonna experience. Plato then applies the analogy and relates this event to the people that are held captive and cannot view reality beyond deceptions. “The way out of the Cave is the process of true understanding, of philosophical wakening, which delineates the distinction between educated and the uneducated” (Ursic and Louth 86), clearly demonstrates that Plato argues that reality depends on how we perceive our ideas. In addition, the prisoners also portray multiple meanings like the cave does. Socrates explains that the prisoners do not know what reality really is. In support, the prisoners are restrained and cannot observe what's behind them at any time. Socrates also states “the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the images. That is certain” (Plato 868). The only perception of reality the prisoners receive is the one illustrated by the guards by using puppets. Because of this, the prisoners won't ever be able to understand the true reality. Needless to say they are helpless to the captivity that restrains them. Socrates says “will he not fancy the shadows which he formerly saw are truer than the objects which are now shown to…