34 pages 1 hour read


Allegory Of The Cave

Nonfiction | Essay / Speech | Adult | BCE

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Essay Analysis

Story Analysis

Analysis: “The Allegory of the Cave”

“The Allegory of the Cave” is an essay in the form of a dramatic dialogue, in whicheverything contained in the essay is spoken by one of its two speakers or characters. This gives the lofty ideas being presented a more conversational tone that allows readers to approach them in an easier-to-understand manner. Plato begins with the allegory itself, an in-depth description of the cave in which people are held captive. Using the symbols of light and darkness, he leads Glaucon (and thereby also the reader), through an exploration of vision, and how it relates to reality, anchoring this first part of the essay in the concrete world of sensation, especially the sense of sight. By starting first with experiences that are rooted in the physical body, Plato is allowing his audience to anchor themselves in the familiar. Anyone with vision has had experiences with light and darkness and so can easily relate to the material, even if the scenario of being trapped, immobilized, in a cave since birth is necessarily foreign.