Plato's Cave Allegory
Plato's Cave Allegory is an analogy of his The Republic created approximately 38BC. The philosophical parable discusses three main subjects, which include the role of education and perception. In considering the themes, Glaucon (Plato's brother) and Socrates, who is both its teachers and a tutor, have been discussed. If the ideas from the discussions between Socrates and Glaucon are Plato or Socrates remains uncertain.
The Dark Cave
It opens up a group of people trapped in the dark cavity with the explanation. The people have been there since they were children and they have been held together in a way that they cannot see one another. All they can do in that situation just to gaze at the walls of the cave that stands ahead of them. However, behind them exists an unseen path that has a low barrier on top which lies in front of a massive bright fire. The walkway has some puppeteers who move along it holding their puppets on top of their heads. The barriers block the puppeteers’ shadows making the light from the fire to show some silhouettes of the puppets that they are holding. The prisoners can observe the humans’ shadow figures and shapes and other objects playing just in front of them.
The Shadows of Reality
The puppeteers make the experience even more interesting by echoing their voices around the cave. When they do so, they appear to the prisoners like they are coming from the shadows rather than the humans that are behind them whom they cannot see. At this point, Socrates suggests to the prisoners that the shadow display that they are watching ahead of them in the cave is reality. They would not recognize that whatever they are seeing just ahead of them is the impression of a real thing's impression. It is so because the shadows are cast by puppets that are inspired by silhouettes which are in the form of human beings. To the prisoners, what they are seeing are the real objects, the humans and the horses.
The Release from the Cave
Socrates suggests a more challenging idea to the scenario. He proposes the release of one of the prisoners to move around the cave. He seems to know that the person would not believe what he sees and therefore, would get back to what he is more familiar and comfortable with. A further suggestion from Socrates shows that if one is forcefully dragged from the cave and placed in the sunlight, then they would have a worse reaction for a short period of time. Probably facing the light of the sun would make the person blind for some time and as such would make him react with both confusion and anger.
Seeing the Sun
After observing the Earth and the people, the moon, the stars and the sun, a man who has been in a dark prison is most likely going to believe that what he sees is a far better reality compared to the false reality he at one point believed while in the dark. It would make him sympathize with all those people still in the dark cave and would strive to get them to light. When the men in the cave see someone being temporarily blinded by the sun, then they would believe that where they exist is not a good place but one that is dangerous and one should avoid as much as possible. Therefore, they would conclude that someone trying to get them out of the cave ought to be fought off and even get killed if possible in a bid to defend themselves from a dangerous journey out of the cave into the light.