Homework Question on “Plato Allegory of the Cave”
- Read Plato’s allegory of the cave in Book VII, write a description of Plato’s allegory of the cave.
Homework Answer on “Plato Allegory of the Cave”
The allegory of the cave can best be described as a theory by Plato to describe human kind. In the allegory, Plato compares the people who have not been taught the forms theory to the prisoners who are chained behind a cave and have nothing much to do, they cannot even turn their heads; they have their eyes staring at the cave walls. At the back, puppeteers make shadows using their puppets. The captives look keenly at the shadows created by things they term as unknown; this is because they cannot be able to see them.
The prisoners make mistakes by thinking that the things on the wall are real; they have no power or ability to know the origin of the shadows that were appearing on the wall. In this context, the allegory contends that the general term of people’s language are not the names of the objects that they can see, but the names of the objects that they cannot be able to see, things that they can only perceive in their mind. When the prisoners come out of prison, they have the ability to turn at the back, they are able to see real things that they could not see before; at this point; their mistakes become clear to them.
The allegory explains the most important factors of having reflective understanding described above. People’s ability to think and speak depends on forms, the prisoners can comprehend the true meaning of book by the experiences that they have with the shadows of the books, but they would make a mistake thinking that “Book” refers to things they have seen.