The journey to enlightenment - A rhetorical analysis of The Allegory of The Cave
It is a Journey undertaken by the soul of humanity -- to ascent from unenlightened to the enlightened, where Plato believes the Theory of Forms is located. As we see here “Anyone who has common sense will remember that the bewilderment of the eyes are of two kinds, and arise from two causes, either from coming out of light or from going into light…” (Plato 1122). Through the voice of Socrates, Plato effectively explains through rhetorical strategies of metaphor, symbolism, and logos to persuade his audience, of the philosophers place in an unenlightened society. It is the point of going into the light, leaving the shadow and the unenlightened that one can easily see the metaphor of the sun being used within the text when Socrates says, “…compelled suddenly to stand up and turn his neck round and walk and look towards the light, he will suffer sharp pains; the glare will distress him and he will be unable to see the realities of which his former state he had seen shadows…” (1121). Reality is put into question for the prisoner when Socrates uses the sun in an extended metaphor to also represent the world of intelligence and ideas. The longer the prisoner was in the light, the more he would become acclimated to it and slowly his view of reality would become shifted. As Plato shows through this quote, “…[B]eing able to see the sun, and not mere reflection of him in the water, but he will see him in his own proper place, and not another; and he will contemplate him as he is” (1121). From this one should understand that he is displaying the prisoner as a symbolism of a philosopher who has been enlightened in the world of intelligence and ideas, which gives credence to his logos of being in the Theory of Forums. Upon achieving this level of personal enlightenment, the prison begins to feel guilt and pity for his fellow prisoners who remain in the bowels of the of the intellectual...
Cited: Plato “The Allegory of The Cave” The Norton Reader. 13th edition. Peterson Linda, et al.
New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc, 2012. 1120-1123. Print.
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