Plato Cave Allegory

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In Book 7 of Plato’s “Republic” readers are presented with the allegory of the cave in which Socrates extensively describes the human element of education and the lack there of it. Socrates using metaphors and analogies explains how someone can be transformed from a realm of undetected ignorance to a domain of greater knowledge. The cave allegory is constructed to represent the plight all men face in the search for the truth and justice among lands full of unwise and unjust people. The very components described in the cave itself help readers understand the incorporated significance Socrates is alluding to in respects of Greek Philosophy and the city in speech, the topic most of the Republic consist of.
At the beginning of book 7 Socrates,
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Amidst this state of pain and confusion Socrates, ask what would occur if someone explained to the cave dweller that all of which he knew from the shadows was rubbish and the objects he vaguely saw now was the real world. According to Socrates, even if the objects which cast shadows in the fire were pointed out to the man “he would be at a loss and believe the thing he’d seen before were truer than the one pointed out to him now” (514 d12-14). Much like the men of the city the truth, even when presented to the newly awaken spirits of men would be so foreign and unknown to them that they would resist in accepting the truth and rather believe in the unjust. For this reason, Socrates states that the man must be forcibly dragged from the cave into the light of the sun where he would become temporarily blind. The new truths presented to the men of the cave and the city Socrates speaks of would be so overwhelming to the men that they would at first be blinded by their attempts to absorb this knowledge and be forced to lay in pain, as their eyes grew accustomed to their …show more content…
Socrates proclaims that the men of the cave would say about him “that after having gone up above he returned with his eyes ruined, and that it is not worth it even to make the effort to go up” (517 a3-5). These still imprisoned men would have no knowledge of the freed man’s discoveries and therefore believe him to be a lesser version of the man whom they had known in the cave. Although ridiculed the man with his newly accumulated knowledge would try to act in the ways of a philosopher and attempt to spread his wealth of knowledge among the ignorant people of the cave. The freed man would tell the other men who were still imprisoned about how the world of shadows they knew was really merely an illusion and just a fake perception of reality. The shackled men would want to hold onto their old ways of thinking and would eventually become enraged at his comments and plot to kill him. This is analogous to the situation most philosophers faced including Socrates, who was eventually killed in large part due to his spreading of controversial ideas he held as truths. The philosophers would know truths which contradicted the ideas of the average citizens, but these ideas would put down as dangerous by unmoving men who lacked there knowledge of the

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