Behind them is a fire, and behind the fire is a partial wall. On top of the wall are various statutes, which are being manipulated by another group of people, lying out of sight behind the partial wall. Because of the fire, the statues cast shadows across the wall that the prisoners are facing. The prisoners watch the stories that these shadows play out, and because these shadows are all they ever get to see, they believe them to be the most real things in the world. The prisoners make up games to do with guessing which statue or object will come next, believing this to be a skill.
In the analogy one of the prisoners is released, he turns around and discovers the fire, people and the rest of the things behind the prisoners. At first it was painful for the prisoner to look at the fire as his eyes were only accustomed to the shadows, gradually however he becomes used to the light and can see more clearly. Plato uses the cave to represent the World of Appearances or the Empirical World- the world in which we live. The shadows on the wall represent images, shadows and other illusions which we can see from the sun, here depicted as the fire. The prisoner is dragged by force out of the cave into the true sunlight.
The prisoner reached the real world outside of the cave and, blinded by the sun, saw the real world in its glory and realised the illusion of the shadows. The prisoner returned to the cave with his enlightenment and tried to explain to the others of the reality. The other prisoners did not believe him, he was over-excited, blinded, confused and clumsy. The prisoners became frustrated with the man and wanted rid of the man disturbing their reality. In some versions of the story the released prisoner is even killed by the others.
Naturally, when the people walked across with their various artefacts the prisoners would only see their shadows and if a traveller was to talk, they would logically assume that the sound or voice had come from the shadow. The shadows represent the perceptions of non- philosophers in the world and the cave represent those who think that knowledge comes from what we see and hear in the world. The next part of the analogy is to ask what would happen if a prisoner was set free from their chains and would finally have the ability to turn their head around and see things as they really are. The prisoner would struggle greatly to take in this new environment and would undoubtedly be blinded by the light of the fire. The prisoner would then be dragged out of the cave against his will and have the sunlight forced upon him .He would find the sunlight painful and would not be able to take anything in until he adjusted to the light.
As well as the shadow of the fire, the prisoners can also see shadows of people crossing the footbridge behind them, carrying stone animal statues; again they believe these shadows to be real. One of the prisoners escapes from the empirical world of the cave, making a hard journey to the outside, into the real world. His eyes take a while to adjust in the sunlight in the real immutable world. He then chooses to go back into the cave to tell the other prisoners the knowledge he had gained from the outside world, however they did not believe in his knowledge and decided they wanted to ridicule and mistreat Plato- a similar thing happened to his early teacher Socrates, when he tried to share his knowledge and theories with people. Furthermore, this could also show the prisoners are content with what they already know in their idea of
Below the raised walkway is the exit to the real world or the ascension to light. The puppeteers create noise and sound whilst walking up and down the walkway which Plato suggests the prisoners would take as real sounds, not reflections of reality. In essence the whole of their society would depend on the shadows on the walls and the echoes of the puppeteers as these are all they have ever known. They wouldn’t believe anything else different without seeing it for themselves. Now supposing that one of the prisoners were freed and shown the puppets that had created the shadows, they wouldn’t understand or recognise them for what they really were.
So the prisoners see only shadows on the wall, being the reality to them. When one of the prisoners was freed, had a different view of the reality and then has thought the reality was in the cave. When one of the prisoners goes out the cave, the world gets clearer. Seeing the reality, he looked to the sun and immediately turned his head back, because he was not accustomed to a lot of light. Then he realized that the sun is an important factor which is responsible for the seasons and the year so had gotten the conclusion that the sun was the form of the good.
Explain the Allegory of the Cave The allegory of the Cave was made by Plato when he tried to explain human ignorance and how almost all humans don’t see our true reality. It refers to the Cave as what we perceive reality to be and how we are chained to a wall to only see this perceived reality. Plato tries to make us a see a world in which the prison was to be released from his chains. Where he would feel intense pain by the light outside and dazed but the new world he begins to see, where he would also struggle to adjust at all to truth of reality and his new surroundings. After he realises that what he previously thought to be reality was in fact a lie, he tries to forget about his past life.
Explain Plato’s analogy of the cave  Plato’s analogy of the cave describes some people who are prisoners and they are only able to see one wall of the cave. Behind them was a lit fire which gave light to be able to cast shadows onto the wall that the prisoners were facing. These shadows were cast by puppeteers who were behind a wall and held things up to tell stories to the prisoners via the wall. One prisoner is forced out of the cave, where he has been his whole life, to see the ‘real’ world. He finds out, after adjusting to the new sunlight, that the shadows were just representations of real objects and that the shadows he had believed to be real objects were in fact not.
The prisoners represent ignorant, less educated people who have not yet opened their minds to the philosophical truth – the intelligible realm. They believe that the shadows they see projected onto the wall are the real objects because they have just blindly accepted what they see