The Nature Of Reality In Plato's Allegory Of The Cave

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Introduction

Plato, a famous Greek philosopher wrote the Allegory of the Cave. He tried to answer some of the profound questions which arose about the nature of reality. He tells the story of 'Allegory of the Cave' as a conversation between his mentor, Socrates (Plato’s mentor), who inspired many of Plato's philosophical theories, and one of Socrates' students, Glaucon (Plato’s older brother). He uses an allegory as a short informative story, to illustrate 'forms' and the 'cave,' in his main work, The Republic (which first appeared around 380 BC). It is one of the most perceptive attempts to explain the nature of reality. The state of most human beings is depicted in this myth of the cave and the tale of a thrilling exit from the cave is the source of true understanding. Plato has portrayed the concept of reality and illusion through the allegory of the cave.

One of Socrates' and also of Plato's, chief ideas was that of forms, which explains that the world is made up of reflections of more perfect and ideal forms. In the Cave
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They are tied in such a way that they are unable to turn their heads. All they can see is the wall of the cave. The prisoners are chained since their childhood and have not seen the outside world ever. Behind them burns a fire. In between the fire and the prisoners there is a small path which is used by the people. Because of this they cast shadows on the wall of the cave. The prisoners are unable to see these real people that pass behind them. What the prisoners see and hear are shadows and echoes of the people whom they do not

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