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The Portrayal of Enlightenment in Allegory of the Cave by Plato
In Plato’s literature, the very good is portrayed as the sun. He chooses this specific symbol for its qualities of illumination and its vague incomprehensibleness. To a person who has in no way witnessed sunlight and has lived their complete life viewing only shadows, even a easy explanation of this natural phenomenon would be baffling to them. In The Allegory of the Cave, the prisoners are bound so that the shadows on the wall in front of them are the only reality they perceive. When removed from their shackles and introduced to the objects that make the shadows, they are at 1st baffled by this seeing as it is in direct conflict with the only reality they have known for several years. This bafflement and discomfort continues as he is shown sunlight, the light blinding him simply because he has lived in the darkness for so long. Plato makes use of the sun to explain the excellent by showing that philosophical enlightenment, much like a individual who has lived in darkness for their complete life very first seeing the sun, is an important but hard process.
He chose the sun as his representation of the great because of the way it illuminates life. If we were to see a bright red scarf at night time and had been told to describe it, all of us would state that it was a bland object of gray or purple color. We would not be wrong, but we would also not be telling the whole truth. The sun alterations the way we see the planet and tends to make it achievable to realize the entirety of the details, just as the very good enables the existence of reality and truth.
In conclusion, Plato explains the excellent by comparison to the sun, a similarly enlightening thought. To a child, the thought of the sun is magnificent and even painful. To a prisoner, the notion of the excellent is the exact same way. Just as human life on earth would be unable to exist without the sun, truth and reality would not be capable to exist with out the very good.
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