Cave and Apology

1771 words 8 pages
Socrates was a philosophical man who lived his life asking prying question in order to guide others to the truth. This manner along with his knowledge and other traits led him to be put on trial for failing to recognize the gods represented by the state, creating new gods, and corrupting Athens' youth. Soon after the trail, Plato wrote an account of the speech that Socrates used to defend himself, titled The Apology. In order to clarify the ideas communicated in The Apology, Plato, a close friend of Socrates, took the liberty of creating a dialogue between his brother, Glaucon, and Socrates. This dialogue found in The Republic, is known as The Cave Analogy, further explained the reasoning behind Socrates' beliefs and actions. Overall, …show more content…

Many men believed that Socrates had remarkable knowledge in numerous fields but Socrates denied it, saying, "I am very conscious that I am not wise at all" (Plato, The Apology, 21b). He attested that the wisest of men are those who recognize their wisdom to be lacking, and that understanding was what made him the wisest of them all.
Although his behavior brought him respect from the youth of Athens, the older crowd tended to detest him as he caused them excess embarrassment. Socrates claimed that the accusations against him were invented purely as vengeance for the humiliation he caused while exposing men's ignorance.
The men in the cave represent the men that Socrates' refers to: the politicians, the poets and other men regarded as wise. The powerful ones play a role of puppeteers, while the normal men are the prisoners. Outside the cave symbolizes objects in their essential forms whereas the shadows on the wall represent objects in the physical world. The sun outside represents the source of all good and knowledge while the fire represents an artificial sun. The artificial sun is comparable today to television, newspapers, and gossip, spread by powerful men; these means tell society what to think about, when to think about it and how to think about it. In the analogy, one man breaks free from his chains and escapes from the cave. His freedom shows him the new world and the truth behind the shadows. Wanting to share his newfound


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