The Importance of Allegory Essay

1015 WordsApr 14, 20145 Pages
Arash Jalili Kalhouri English 101 Prof. March 11, 2014 The Importance of Allegory Allegories have come to be known as a very critical part of literature; throughout the years there have been allegories in poems, stories, essays, and virtually any other type of literature that exists. The first significant question one may raise when hearing the word allegory would be, “exactly what is an allegory?” In short, an allegory is a hidden meaning in a story, poem or other work of literature; usually of political or moral essence. It is evident that a concept which has been used throughout the history of time must contain some sort of importance to the world of English literature. Allegories are closely related to metaphors but should not be mistaken with them since allegories are (in a sense) a more extended metaphor. In Plato’s essay, “The Allegory of the Cave”, he explores the different levels of “truth” which one can attain through knowledge and wisdom. Plato labels an assembly of individuals who have had a life bound to the barricade of a cave throughout the duration of their lives, fronting a bare wall. These people who have not even seen the light of day observe shades pitched on that empty partition by unknown items transient in the very face of a fire which lies blazing at the rear of them; these individuals instigate on attributing “forms” to these shades. Conferring to what Plato notes, these shadows are the closest these prisoners get to observing reality. He then elucidates on how the philosopher is very similar to a convict who is unbound from the cavern and understands that the shades on the front of the wall really have no constitutive of reality at all, since he can distinguish the true form of reality instead of the shades that the prisoners had perceived. The composite connotations that can be professed from “The Allegory of the Cave" can be

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