In Plato's Allegory of the Cave, the author describes a scene in which people are chained to the walls of the cave without sight of the real world or knowledge of what goes on around them save for the reflections of shadow and flame. Plato goes on to hypothesize what would occur should these characters be released from their shackles and set forth into the world outside the cave to discover what forms truly reflect the realities of the world. He proves this point in two key ways, using both allegory and dialogue as his greatest tools. The title incorporates one of which into itself.
Plato uses the character Socrates' telling of this small tale as an entire form of allegory. Allegory is the contrast of how people see and later perceive or believe in reality. In literature, it is the hidden meaning behind something that is seemingly straightforward. Plato writes about characters trapped in a cave and their hypothetical learning of the reality of the world outside, yet the hidden meaning, later explained in the text, refers to a public which lets society dictate their thoughts and live without thinking for themselves. A prime example of this hidden meaning within the tale states, And of the objects which are being carried in like manner they would only see the shadows To them, I said, the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of images (450).
[...] Print. Jacobus, Lee A. “Introduction to Plato's ‘Allegory of the Cave'.” A World of Ideas. 8th Ed. Lee A. Jacobus. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's 448- 449. Print. [...]
[...] Allegory and dialogue as used as supporting methods in Plato's “Allegory of the Cave” In Plato's “Allegory of the the author describes a scene in which people are chained to the walls of the cave without sight of the real world or knowledge of what goes on around them save for the reflections of shadow and flame. Plato goes on to hypothesize what would occur should these characters be released from their shackles and set forth into the world outside the cave to discover what forms truly reflect the realities of the world. [...]
[...] This form of allegory as well as the use of dialogue in the text allows Plato to fully develop this idea within his text and allow the reader full understanding of the concept. The text on a whole being one big allegory on the idea of naïve cave dwellers learning of the world outside their walls as well as use of argument, reference and reply, and even asking questions to form the conversation or dialogue between characters allows completion of Plato's ideas. [...]
[...] In this way Plato is using allegory to get across his true purpose for writing Allegory of the Cave”. Yet, even though the writing on a whole is a tool smaller devices are at work within it as well. Plato also employs dialogue as a way to get the purpose of his writing across. The entire pretext of the conversation between Socrates and Glaucon in the writing is, in and of itself, a tool to say what Plato wanted to say. [...]
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