How does the conflict move the action (plot)? Poetry Essay Sample

Identify conflict. How does the conflict move the action (plot)? What is Plato saying about people?


            A conflict of reasoning is stirred up in Plato’s Meno, where Meno engages Socrates on a discussion in order get true meaning of human virtue. Socrates and Meno were from different school of thoughts, a situation that makes them to have different view. Meno confidently gives his opinion on what he thinks virtue is, reflecting major aspects in the Greek cultural customs (Scott 7). However, Socrates thought that the definition by Meno did not meet the required threshold to be considered the true meaning of virtue. The need to have a correct definition of virtue is expected to ensure a strong understanding of what it is. A person would relate to anything depending on how he makes its definition. Wrong definition would mean a flawed idea about a certain concept. Thus, Socrates seeks the idea of explaining what elementary virtue is not. Actually, the accomplishment in Plato’s Meno is not based on creating a theory about virtue, however, it portrays necessary framework that can be used to determine a good theory about virtue.

Allegory of the Cave

            The conflict evident in Allegory of the Cave emanates from different observation of reality, as revealed in different persons. The two extremes which are source of conflict in this plot are reality and illusion, conflicting knowledge and true knowledge. Human ignorance is portrayed through Plato’s constructive criticism on the different manner in which people view certain concepts. The perpetual conflict of appearance against reality is mainly brought out through symbolism used in the plot. Plato tries to change the notion that fine life is obtained when a person’s desires are satisfied. These conflict moves the plot as Socrates tries to explain his idea based on the imagery of the prisoners and the cave.

            There is a clash of ideas between the captives in chain and the one who encounters the reality outside the cave. The prisoners in chain remains confined in the limited knowledge of the shadows that appears to be reality, while the freed prisoner, who has interacted with the truth comes with a different knowledge. The prisoners in chain consider the new knowledge from the free prisoner as flawed and corrupted ideology. In reality, the prisoners in chain have corrupted knowledge because the limited situation in their lives. The differential interaction levels the two parties have with illusions and reality cause conflict of knowledge.

            From Plato’s Meno, it is clear that there are simple thing that majority ignore yet they cannot explain their true meaning. This plot reveals the nature of humanity, with its major limitation on knowledge of certain issues that relate to humanity.

What is Plato saying about people?

            Plato reveals the nature of human beings as a being flawed as a result of ignorance and lack of proper knowledge (Plato 14). Both the elites and illiterates have lack the sense of reality when they get fixed on their own ideologies and fail to obtain the true knowledge. Both political leaders and the common people are corrupt and ignorant, lacking proper knowledge of the world and themselves. This is a pointer to why power, self-gratification, and greed motivate people. Bondage of ignorance and passions constraint many people in same manner as the prisoners in. According to Plato, there are people who are chained by their self sustaining ignorance to an extent of denying the reality.

            However, Plato believes that there are people, who can be referred to as “ideal human beings.” These are people with superior intelligence and are able to execute the right judgment based on the true knowledge that they have. However, this is a small group of people who find a lot of criticism from other people who lack such knowledge.

Do you think the one who had gotten out of the cave would still envy those in the cave and would want to compete with them whom have knowledge of the truth? Explain.

            The prisoner who has experienced the environment out of the cave would have difficult time before adjusting to the conditions outside. However, after a while, he would comfortably adjust and thoroughly interact with the reality outside the cave. After such experience, the free prisoner would definitely pity the other prisoners in the cave. As Plato portrays, “And when he remembered his old habitation, and the wisdom of the den and his fellow-prisoners, do you not suppose that he would felicitate himself on the change, and pity them ?” (12).

            Ideally, the free prisoner can lay hidden reality bare to other captives. However, it would be difficult to convince them of the new reality bearing in mind that they have interacted with shadows all through. The chained captives would consider the new revelation from the free prisoner a corrupted version of reality. However, having interacted with reality, the free prisoner cannot envy those in the cave because they are misinformed and don’t know the reality behind their back. An educated person would never admire illiteracy, simply because illiteracy limit person’s understanding on major issues. It becomes easier to handle situations once the truth about such situations is revealed. However, it is quite difficult to handle situations without true knowledge about it.

            On the other hand, the prisoner who has encountered the reality would begin associating with people having the same knowledge of truth. Definitely, people with true knowledge would understand his ideas and probably engage with them on many issues in order to get more enlightened.

Works Cited

Plato, . The Allegory of the Cave. Brea, CA: P & L Publication, 2010. Print.

Scott, Dominic. Plato’s Meno. Cambridge University Press, 2006.