The allegory of the cave is one of the most prominent works of Plato. It is a theory created by Plato asserting that knowledge which emanates from senses is not factual and that real knowledge can only be acquired through philosophical reasoning. Even though the theory is intriguing to read it has a deeper meaning. Plato uses a lot to symbolism to clearly explain his theory.
Plato uses the cave to symbolize the school of thought that believes that knowledge comes from empirical knowledge such as the things we see and hear (Peterson 275). The caves indicate that people who depend on empirical knowledge are trapped in a “cave” of misunderstanding.
The game in the theory represents how certain individuals think that empirical knowledge can make them “masters” of the truth. Plato demonstrates that such people are far from knowing the truth.
Plato uses the shadows to demonstrate the perceptions of those who think that empirical knowledge leads to the acquisition of knowledge. Plato asserts that the knowledge gained empirically is a shadow of the real truth.
There is a narrative of a prisoner who escapes from the cave and goes to seek knowledge outside the cave and gets exposed to the light from the sun. The sun is used as a symbol of truth and knowledge and the prisoner’s journey symbolizes philosopher’s actions to get the real truth.
The allegory of the cave is a theory created by Plato through the use of various forms of symbolism. The theory tends to defy those people who think that empirical knowledge can lead to the real truth. The cave represents how the people who believe in empirical knowledge are hindered from the truth. The shadows are used to indicate the truth gotten from the senses. However, once philosophers leave the knowledge from senses and start a journey of reasoning, they attain the real truth.
Peterson, Valerie V. “Plato’s Allegory of the Cave: literacy and “the good”.” Review of Communication 17.4 (2017): 273-287.