Comparing Plato And Machiavelli's The Allegory Of The Cave

Good Essays
In Niccolo Machiavelli’s “The Morals of the Prince” and Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave,” human nature is presented in different ways addressing the concepts of seeming and being. While Plato stresses the importance of being rather than seeming, Machiavelli reveals human nature is more successful when seeming rather than being. In Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave,” Socrates emphasizes that the only way to separate what seems like reality and what actually is reality is to experience it in its purest form. Knowledge gained from the senses is nothing more than opinion, and to obtain real knowledge we must use philosophical reasoning. Knowledge already exists inside a soul, but it is crucial that this knowledge be pointed toward the good in order to benefit future rulers. Plato states that the men stuck inside the cave of only sensory perception are not ‘obliged to share in the toils of politics.’ They have grown up in the dark so it is the only lifestyle they know. It is understandable that they would not show any gratitude to the men who have seen the light. Nevertheless, these men who have gained that knowledge through philosophical reasoning must try and save those in the darkness, no matter the lack of appreciativeness. Plato writes that past rulers must make life better for their successors in…show more content…
Plato gives humanity the benefit of the doubt. He portrays that if you actually do good instead of seeming to do good, then you will be successful. Sadly, this idea of human nature is that of a utopian society. If everyone always did good deeds, nobody would get ‘screwed over.’ This would put everyone at the same level which just can’t be done if you want a ‘well ordered State.’ Human nature is better defined by Machiavelli’s idea that in order to be successful, you must seem to do good when people are watching, but as soon as they turn their heads you must defy all morals in order to get
Get Access