Plato - Myth Of The Cave

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Shake ENC 1101 06 February, 2008 Thoughts on Plato’s “The Myth of the Cave” Plato’s “The myth of the cave” illustrates an attempt by “Socrates” to explain to “Glaucon” about the people that are chained deep within the boundaries of a dark cave. Strangled so that their visualization is restricted, in a world that is a mere reflection of the real world, where the “idea of good” is curtained and views are imaginary. The first sentence itself depicts the nature of their conversation in which Socrates says “Let me show in a figure how far our nature is enlightened or unenlightened” (339). This showcases that the essay is about illusions and shadows and, as I read more, I find it to be about the differences in the “judgments and views” that are based on imagination with the ones based on “Raw data and knowledge”. As Plato explains the differences in our natures, he reflects the life of the prisoners citing “They see only their own shadows or the shadows of one another” (339), as they are tied to perceive only shadows on the back of the cave that are emitted by artificial objects and the light that is thrown by a fire “To them, the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the images” (340). Plato then explains how the prisoner would react when taken out from the darkness of the cave to the light of reality. With enlightenment a prisoner might be turned to see first the artificial objects, then the fire, then the real world, the reflections and last of all the “Sun”. Each stage would be complicated and unfamiliar, and at the end the now enlightened prisoner would be unable to communicate his knowledge to the prisoners still in the depths of the cave, unknown of the real world, the world of forms. It would be similar to the journey in which the pilgrims assemble down in some cave and receive some revelation; if an enlightened pilgrim came to help them they

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