Plato's Allegory Of The Cave And Rashomon

1552 Words7 Pages
After World War II ended in 1945, Japan was amidst an identity crisis. With six years of gruesome fighting and over 3,000,000 deaths, it appeared that all hope for humanity was lost – humans were only capable of violence. In Rashomon, Kurosawa uses a series of false flashbacks to emphasize not the meaning of truth, but the egocentric nature of humanity. By drawing a parallel between Plato’s allegory of the cave and Rashomon through the character development of the woodcutter, this paper proves that Rashomon is a film about humanity’s multi-faceted morality and its ability to demonstrate compassion in conjunction with egocentrism. Rashomon is a film about three main characters—the woodcutter, the priest, and the commoner—retelling the events of a murder through the lens of four different characters: the samurai, his wife, the bandit, and the woodcutter. We see that although each story begins and ends with the wife’s sexual assault and the samurai’s death respectively, each account of the story differs drastically from the other. These four stories are told as flashbacks; however, at least three of the four stories must be false because of the variant perceptions of the same events. Only one can be true, if any at all. This leads many critics to believe Rashomon is a film about the…show more content…
In 1950’s Japan, women had little social and political power relative to men. The wife, cunningly understanding this, plays into society’s perception of women by explicitly telling the court “what should a poor, helpless woman like me do?” By playing into her gender role as a helpless woman, the wife makes herself the centerpiece of the story. She portrays her husband as unforgiving and the bandit as forceful. The wife appeals to the court not based off the reality of the situation, but almost exclusively through pathos. In doing so, the wife is seen as cunning and

    More about Plato's Allegory Of The Cave And Rashomon

      Open Document