Plato's Allegory Of The Cave

Words: 1742
Pages: 7

In Plato’s writings in The Republic he describes a cave. It is a dark and hellish cave. Prisoners are chained by the neck against the wall. Forced to stare at a wall with only the dancing figures of shadows being cast upon it. This is their reality. A world where the prisoners are immobile and forced to watch as dark figures slide across the wall. They do not know that these dark figures are shadows of people walking across a bridge behind them. Next to the bridge a fire illuminates anyone who walks by casting their figures upon the wall for the prisoners to see. Plato then describes one of the prisoner’s becoming free of their shackles. The prisoner would instantly know that his entire existence has been simply an appearance. A lie that has been going on since the day the he was born. In awe of this new idea, the prisoner for the first time, leaves the cave. It is a painful realization for the prisoner. The entire world view of this person has been changed. But as the prisoner goes towards a blinding light outside the cave, his eyes begin to adjust. He sees a new reality. …show more content…
In the beginning of the text, when the prisoners are seen chained up, Plato is regarding them as men who are in a false reality. He states that, “To them, I said, the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the images.” (The Republic Book VII) As a result, these men are being decepted by their senses so their is an appearance of reality is skewed. This is an important distinction between appearance and reality because having a false sense of reality proves to have consequences. In context of society this can most aptly be related to a person who holds a false belief based on senses. For example, someone who disputes climate change in the face of overwhelming evidence to support