Plato's Cave And The Cave

1622 Words7 Pages
Plato’s Cave We first learn about Plato’s cave in book seven of the Republic. In his book, Plato describes a conversation he has with Socrates. He tells Socrates the story of some men who had lived their entire lives in a cave. These men knew nothing beyond what they could see on the cave wall. One day, a man is freed. At first he rejected his new found knowledge of the world but, once he accepted what he learned outside of the cave, he could never go back to his sheltered existence. The cave is an allegory, a story that has a hidden meaning. Plato is attempting to describe the difference between conventional opinion and getting educated. Plato says “compare the effect of education and of the lack of it” (Plato 175). Plato’s begins telling the story of the men in the cave like this: “They have been there since childhood, fixed in the same place, with their necks and legs fettered, able to see only in front of them, because their bonds prevent them from turning their heads around” (Plato 175). Behind the men is a burning fire. Separating the men from the fire is what can been described as a screen. The screen is in place so that puppeteers can project shadows on the wall in front of the chained men. Because the men have their necks and legs shackled, they are unable to turn their heads or get up and see what’s going on behind them. What the men have learned about reality is solely derived from the shadow puppets. Other than conversation amongst themselves, this is all they

More about Plato's Cave And The Cave

Open Document