The Allegory Of Plato's The Republic Of The Cave

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The preface of The Republic of Plato states that “One must look at the microcosm of the drama just as one would look at the macrocosm of the world which it represents.” This statement asserts the significance of the dramatic details found within the text, which not only help to further Plato’s argument, but are also crucial to our understanding of the text as a whole. At the climax of The Republic of Plato lies one of philosophy’s most prominent and beautiful images, the Allegory of the Cave. Within the seventh book of the text, Plato conveys Socrates’s narration about an image of a cave, and throughout this historic and famous image, there are a plethora of the aforementioned dramatic details included. Particularly, some of the details that …show more content…
When Socrates first begins to describe the cave, Glaucon replies, “It’s a strange image, and strange prisoners you’re telling of.” In reply, Socrates states, “They’re like us” (515a). This is a striking statement because it makes the image plausible for the reader, and leads one to question if they are in fact one of the prisoners being described, which was undoubtedly Socrates’s intention. Another aspect of this detail I find interesting is its placement in the explanation of the allegory, which is at the very beginning. I think that by including this interaction before the reader is given any real details about the cave, Plato is indicating that one should take this into consideration while reading the rest of the metaphor, as that is the only way the magnitude of the image can be perceived in all its glory. Overall, this detail strengthens the reader’s understanding of Plato’s argument by making the “Allegory of the Cave” seem applicable to one’s own self, which is arguably one of the scariest realizations one can …show more content…
For example, when Socrates is considering a scenario in which a prisoner becomes self-aware, Plato writes, “…because he is somewhat nearer to what is and more turned toward beings…” (515d). This detail is striking since the use of italics indicates that the word has a meaning beyond that which is conventional. Here, the italicized “is” denotes the world outside of the cave, the world of philosophy. However, this interpretation could only have been reached with the use of italics; otherwise, the reader would have overlooked the word and not seen the meaning behind it, which is a crucial point in the allegory. Therefore, this detail improves the reader’s understanding of Plato’s argument by revealing that there is an extra layer to his words, and without this layer, it is impossible to fully comprehend his and Socrates’s message within the

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