The Portrayal of Enlightenment in Allegory of The Cave by Plato

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 441 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Jan 15, 2019

Words: 441|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Jan 15, 2019

In the Allegory of the cave, there are four main stages of enlightenment. The four steps cover all aspects of enlightenment, from knowing absolutely nothing and perceiving reality only through your sensory organs to reaching full knowledge and having the capacity to understand “the good.” Just as someone first seeing sunlight, he portrays the experience of enlightenment accurately. He writes The Simile of the Sun and The Allegory of the Cave to make clearer his perceptions of the world and to explain the world as he viewed it.

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

In Plato’s literature, the good is portrayed as the sun. He chooses this particular symbol for its qualities of illumination and its vague incomprehensibleness. To someone who has never witnessed sunlight and has lived their entire life viewing only shadows, even a simple 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 first baffled by this seeing as it is in direct conflict with the only reality they have known for many years. This bafflement and pain continues as he is shown sunlight, the light blinding him because he has lived in the darkness for so long. Plato uses the sun to explain the good by showing that philosophical enlightenment, much like a person who has lived in darkness for their whole life first seeing the sun, is an essential but difficult process.

He chose the sun as his representation of the good because of the way it illuminates life. If we were to see a bright red scarf at night time and were 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 entire truth. The sun changes the way we see the world and makes it possible to understand the entirety of the facts, just as the good allows the existence of reality and truth.

Get a custom paper now from our expert writers.

In conclusion, Plato explains the good by comparison to the sun, a similarly enlightening idea. To a child, the idea of the sun is magnificent and even painful. To a prisoner, the concept of the good is the same way. Just as human life on earth would be unable to exist without the sun, truth and reality would not be able to exist without the good.

Image of Dr. Charlotte Jacobson
This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

The Portrayal of Enlightenment in Allegory of the Cave by Plato. (2019, January 03). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 22, 2024, from
“The Portrayal of Enlightenment in Allegory of the Cave by Plato.” GradesFixer, 03 Jan. 2019,
The Portrayal of Enlightenment in Allegory of the Cave by Plato. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 22 May 2024].
The Portrayal of Enlightenment in Allegory of the Cave by Plato [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Jan 03 [cited 2024 May 22]. Available from:
Keep in mind: This sample was shared by another student.
  • 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help
  • Custom essay delivered in as few as 3 hours
Write my essay

Still can’t find what you need?

Browse our vast selection of original essay samples, each expertly formatted and styled


Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.


    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts


    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!


    Get Your
    Personalized Essay in 3 Hours or Less!

    We can help you get a better grade and deliver your task on time!
    • Instructions Followed To The Letter
    • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
    • Unique And Plagiarism Free
    Order your paper now