Explain Plato's analogy of the cave (25 Marks)
Plato uses the analogy of the cave to explain what his position is as a philosopher, and differences between the physical world and Realm of Forms. His view is that the analogy clearly explains to individuals that the world they live in is an illusion and they should follow him to find the light, which is the eternal Realm of Forms.
The analogy begins in the cave, which represents the physical world. Several prisoners, who have chains to their necks and legs are sitting observing images. The chains represent the restriction of our senses. These prisoners have been there since birth and do not recognise any other life. Behind them there is a wall, which eventually stops them from seeing the truth, where people carry statues. Their shadows are being projected by the intense fire in the background, which represents the sun. They are looking at shadows (false reality), and listening to the noises made by the individuals carrying the statues. This is what the prisoners see as the true reality, as they are blinded and forced to believe in this false wold where shadows are reality and the noises heard are from them. This shows that our senses are not…show more content… However one of the prisoners is freed. He fails to understand what is around him, becoming dazzled by reality and confused (the fire) but realising that what he had been watching his whole life was false. Afterwards he is forced out of the cave to the real world, where he still fails to comprehend his surroundings, by gradually noticing it. Firstly he sees the shadows and reflections and lastly manages to see the sun, as he has adjusted to the environment. This symbolises the philosopher’s journey to enlightenment as they struggle to adapt to their new ways of observing. Outside represents the World of Forms, while the sun represents the Form of the Good as it provides the true form and