The Cave Essay

1208 WordsMar 24, 20135 Pages
Rhetorical Analysis of The Allegory of the Cave by Plato Good essays transcend generations and are relevant centuries after they are written. One such essay is The Allegory of the Cave by Plato. Written before the common era, this essay provokes the reader to see beyond the written words and relate the message to their own experiences. It is important to analyze great writers and thinkers, like Plato, to ensure their teachings are not lost on modern culture. Proper methods and strategies must be employed in analysis for the purpose of extracting optimum insight from works such as this. In this essay, a summary of The Allegory of the Cave is given. Then, The Allegory of the Cave is analyzed by looking at specific components of rhetoric including a general look at rhetorical elements, then looking specifically at paragraph structure, syntactical structure, and diction. Finally, the message of The Allegory of the Cave is related to personal experience. The Allegory of the Cave is a dialogue between teacher, Socrates, and pupil ‘Glaucon.’ In it, the teacher attempts to guide the student through an extended metaphor of “education and ignorance as a picture of the condition of our nature” (500). Plato likens members of society to unknowing prisoners in a cave who can only perceive shadows of unseen objects. These shadows are cast by a fire that burns behind the prisoners and reflects images on the walls in front of the prisoners. Once a prisoner is guided out of the cave and sees the world in its true, harsh, light, the prisoner is able to understand that what they see in the cave is a fallacy. Upon return to the cave, the ‘enlightened’ prisoner cannot relate to life in the cave. He is an outsider and suffers for it. The purpose of this essay is to show that there is a difference between ‘truth’ and what is perceived as ‘truth.’ In this

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