The Dividing Lien of Plato's Allegory of the Cave Essay

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Plato’s allegory of the cave, located in Book VII of The Republic is one of the most famous allegories in which he has created. This simile touches base on a number of philosophical ideas which Plato developed over the progression of The Republic (Plato, G.M.A Grube, 1993), the most noticeable being the dividing line. The dividing line is the point between the world of ideas where we live and the world of the forms which is in the heavens. This allegory of the cave helps people understand the theory on which philosophy is based. It is also in this Book where the education of the guardians is outlined. We are asked in Book VII of The Republic to imagine a group of people sitting inside a cave, with their hands and feet bound. It is by…show more content…
When the prisoner turns his head towards the light of the fire his eyes hurt him and he is confused because he is unable to see the objects of the shadows he had been subjected to his entire life. It is because of this pain and confusion that the prisoner wishes to return to the life that he is accustomed to, and the reality he knows, the world of the shadows. We are asked to envision the stubbornness displayed by this prisoner to leave the world of the shadows, a stubbornness which causes him to be dragged into the sunlight. Upon seeing the light of the sun the prisoner is temporarily blinded, unable to see anything around him, blinding him more than when he was a prisoner of the cave. Eventually the prisoner’s vision adjusts and he is able to see more clearly. His mind will first be able to recognize the shadows, then moving on to reflections of objects in the water, and lastly the objects themselves. This new sight leads the prisoner to question the colours and objects around him. He questions what it is that causes him to being able to see all the things he can, compared to only seeing poor reflections of objects in the cave. The prisoner eventually concludes that it is the sun which illuminates all around him and is the source of his sight. This now knowledgeable individual remembers the others who are still trapped in the cave ignorant to the wonders which lay outside of it. He considers him self lucky to

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