The Allegory of the Cave: Summary and Analysis Essay Sample

The Allegory of the Cave: Summary and Analysis Essay Sample

The Allegory of the Cave by Socrates and written by Plato in “The Republic” is. as its name suggests. an fable that has been popular for old ages and has been included in the philosophical surveies of many academic establishments.

To get down with. it might be necessary to specify the significance of the word “allegory” for this will give a better apprehension of the text. An fable “is an abstract representation of principals or thoughts through the usage of characters. figures. or events…In most instances. fable is the term used ( instead than metaphor ) when the symbolic representations reflect an facet of human behaviour and values” ( Hewitt. 2005 ) . Therefore. it can be said that the Allegory of the Cave will reflect a certain feature of worlds in footings of the behaviour they manifest and the values they possess.

The Allegory of the Cave is a narrative which narrates the narrative of captives chained in a dark lair. frequently portrayed as the cave. and showed how those who are chained and stuck in that cave would merely see their shadows and those that base on balls by behind them. which are really shadows made and shadows of the captives. That which created the shadow is the gap of the cave that faced the visible radiation. For they are unchained. they could ne’er see what was traveling on buttockss and they were deprived of the opportunity to turn around and hold a expression.

The captives in the cave represent the people. in general. More so. the shadows that were created were perceived by the captives as their world for they are bound to look at one. and merely one. way because of the ironss. Their world is something that is impaired for they ne’er knew what else was there beyond the shadows and there was no manner they could of all time happen out in their state of affairs. For them. it was already existent because it is all they could of all time see.

Socrates sees similarities with people and the captives in the cave. The fact that the captives could see nil but shadows implies something of import with regard to the human perceptual experience of world around them. Those which we consider as worlds from the really start may non really be the world that exists in his universe for we might hold a vision limited by the ironss that bind us. Our worlds do no travel beyond what is reflected by the stuff and concrete things in this universe and the deficiency of will to look otherwise will go forth us with that really same world. Besides. it will impair our impression of Goodness and besides. the footings we ascribe to the things we see as world are non precisely footings for the things that exist but simply. things that live in our head. The shadows seen by the captives depict this greatly because the captives can see things. may it be existent or unreal. believe them even without farther cognition about the shadows. and would name them world even though these shadows can merely be held on to through their heads.

It is said that for the people to see the world. there is a demand to interrupt free from the ironss and travel out of the cave and onto the light and bright portion outside the cave. If the captive perceives the shadows as world and accepts it as it is. so he will stay that manner everlastingly. Just like us. if we remain in our world and be contented with that which is offered to us. so we will be trapped in a world which is untrue and dogged. However. if one would make bold to inquire what is at that place beyond what is deemed to be the world in this universe. so it would be the start of a procedure that would interrupt the concatenation. It is a long and important procedure but it can be done.

Once we would hold the bravery to interrupt away from the ironss. we would besides hold the opportunity to turn around and look at the beginning of shadows. It is so that Socrates said that we would be able to see the beginnings of the shadow and will continue to research the worlds that truly is. Socrates said “…my sentiment is that in the universe of cognition the thought of good appears last of all. and is seen merely with an attempt ; and. when seen. is besides inferred to be cosmopolitan writer of all things beautiful and right. parent of light and of the Godhead of visible radiation in this seeable universe. and the immediate beginning of ground and truth in the rational ; and that this is the power upon which he who would move rationally either in public or private life must hold his oculus fixed” ( as cited in Marmet. n. d. ) .

Therefore. the world is considered by Socrates as the stepping rock unto which everything Good will get down and will be the fountain of “reason and truth in the rational. ” This will be the beginning of a journey of find and geographic expedition and will take from one measure to another until everything is completed. or at the really least satisfied. However. it is to be noted that this procedure is painful and can either push individuals back into believing the worlds they perceive before the breakage of the ironss or will roll around until they could set to the universe outside the cave.

Once we would make and prosecute the phase where people would be able to see the outside universe. which is beyond the world they see among the shadows. so we would get down to see the things beyond the shadows or any medium that they may take before. Through this. we would be able to see the existent beginnings of the shadows. those things that truly exist. and that will be the point where we gain awareness.

With such enlightenment. it is expected that other people may be disbelieving or be in wit about the things we are now able to see beyond the shadows. It is non suggested that one would travel back into the former province of believing the shadows as world because it is more painful and pathetic than of all time to hold seen such world outside and would still make bold to travel back to the old belief of the shadows. What Socrates emphasized is that a individual should travel back into the cave of darkness. non to be tied back into the ironss. but will hold to patiently take the group of captives for they are non in the same degree of consciousness and has the demand to be guided towards the visible radiation.

For us. it would learn us the manner to happen world and enlighten besides those who are non gifted with the same. It might be difficult but a leader will make so.


Hewitt. J. ( 2005 ) .What is an Fable?Retrieved September 26. 2007. from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. poewar. com/whaat-is-an-allegory.

Marmet. P. ( n. d. ) .Fable of the Cave. Retrieved September 26. 2007. from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. newtonphysics. on. ca/HEISENBERG/Appendix. hypertext markup language.