Rhetorical Analysis Of Allegory Of The Cave

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Alisha Saxena
Philosopher, Plato, in his published work, Allegory of the Cave, describes a dialogue with Glaucon about the importance of truth and human nature. This in depth discussion about reality is expanded on throughout Plato’s book, The Republic. Plato uses The Republic in order to convey how morality and virtue is of utmost importance. Plato’s purpose of Allegory of the Cave is to communicate that our perceptions of the truth are limited, and how the truth might not always be what is predicted or imagined. He further supports this purpose by using extended metaphors, intense, connotative diction, and an eloquent, questioning tone.
The extended metaphors throughout the Allegory of the Cave provide clear comparisons between the prisoners’
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One of the first things Plato adds when describing the scenery was the “fires blazing at a distance” and “low walls built along the way.” Plato specifically chose the words “blazing” and “low” to convey a more in depth sense of darkness. “Blazing” and “low” suggests a more intense background as well as provides a significant contrasting effect with the cave. Because the fire is the prisoners’ only way of trying to figure out what is going on, or their version of reality, they rely on it heavily. This relates back to the purpose in that they depend on their senses so heavily that their view of truth is obstructed. Plato also uses this type of language to intensely show how the fire and low walls give them restrictions and barriers. The prisoners have little to no freedom within this cave which is another reason for their distorted image of truth. The dark image that Plato portrays within the cave is describing a hell that no man would ever want to be in. However, this is all that these poor men know, so they have no choice but to wait for the liberator to return with news. However, since Plato emphasizes through the whole short story that the truth may not always be what they imagined, the prisoners have a hard time accepting the news. With the use of intense, connotative diction, Plato gives a further understanding into the setting and environment of the …show more content…
Throughout most of the story, Plato proposes his argument through the use of hypothetical questions such as “And when he remembered his old habitation… do you not suppose that he would felicitate himself on the change, and pity them?” As he speaks to Glaucon, Socrates carries his words with a curious quality to it as if he does not know the truth himself. By constantly asking these questions to Glaucon, Socrates ignites a rather confused and thought provoking reaction. One can tell that Glaucon is so consumed in his own thoughts that he can barely voice more than a “certainly”, “yes”, or “very true” in response to Socrates. When listening to Socrates’ words, Plato hopes that the reader comes to his conclusions that there is a limit to truth and people only believe in what they choose to. Additionally, the eloquent, questioning tone becomes apparent through the dialogue because his placement of the question makes it seem that truth is common sense; he emphasizes his points in a strategic way which makes Glaucon, as well as the reader, think more than if he were to just state his opinion. This is significant because it reveals Plato’s stance as a philosopher as well since many people disregarded philosophers during this time, not believing in secular or enlightened ideas. Plato was able to convey an eloquent tone by asking many questions pertaining to his

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