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The Emphasis of Education in Plato's

Cave Allegory
Kristina Moon
English 120-Alapin
October 1, 2014
Only the educated are free.~Epictetus


Plato is known for implementing education in his works.


is it needed?


is it important?


can you achieve?

Plato also liked to use symbolism to get his point across.


represents uneducation.

brightness of the world outside the cave represents education.



how the prisoners may not have even realized what they were

Plato's Allegory of the Cave

Prisoners are chained and bound
inside of a cave.

He runs back to the cave to tell

his friends that are still chained

They can't even move their heads what he has seen.

from side to side.

They don't believe him and

threaten to kill him.

All the prisoners can see are
shadows that are in front of them
formed by the fire above and
passing people.

One of the prisoners is released

and experiences the outside world.

Implied that the prisoner is uneducated
and close minded.

Much like the prisoners, uneducated

people don't move their heads. The don't
want to see what's on either side of them.


what is familiar to them.


living dull, uneducated lives.

interest in changing for the better.

Symbolism is used to differentiate between the

educated and the uneducated.


of the cave-uneducated


of outside the cave-educated.

Just like in the cave, our lives would be dark

and gloomy without education.

Similar to the restricted prisoners, we are

confined by being uneducated.


not until you break those chains that you

see what you're missing.

The cave image is offered as an analogy for the human condition-for our education
of lack of it.(Education and Plato's Parable)

Set Free
Once introduced to the world outside, they
were able to see what the world offered.


confining inside the cave walls.


educated opens up so many more

possibilities than being confined and not
opening your mind.
Education can be compared to enlightenment.

To impart

light to

knowledge or to give intellectual

Plato was a strong believer in education.


that everyone was capable of

learning and that there was an instrument of
learning in everyone.

It is through seeing the light-educationthat the prisoner is truly freed.(Beyond

the Shadows)

Thus Plato would believe that the freed

prisoner would suddenly be compelled to
turn toward the light, that is, to be
educated.(Beyond the Shadows)


that prisoner is literally enlightened

when released to the outside world.

Already established the prisoners are
uneducated, close minded and unwilling to

They've been chained their whole lives so

how do they know they're supposed to


are they supposed to know there is a

better life for them?

would they want to change?

Just like the prisoner, an uneducated

person may be content in being

The essential point is that the

prisoners in the cave are not seeing
reality, but only a shadowy
representation of it. (Analysis of the

The bound prisoner-and by

implication the ordinary uneducated
person-has no access to intelligible
forms. In fact, he has no idea there are
such things...Still his epistemic
horizons are limited. (Education and
Plato's Parable)


Education gives people the freedom to make more choices.


individuals have limited opportunities to further their lives

Plato made the difference between uneducated and educated individuals

very clear.


World outside the cave.


Prisoners/inside the cave

Knowledge is great but if it's not wanted it can be a downfall.

What if the cure for cancer or the next Einstein is in the mind of one of
those prisoners???

Works Cited
Aguirre, Bianc C. Beyond the Shadow through the
Instruments of Our Souls: Education trough Plato's Allegory of
the Cave. Electrum Magazine. 31 Dec 2011. Web 15 Sep

Analysis of the Allegory of the Cave by Plato. Web 15 Sep 2014.

Education and Plato's Parable of the Cave. Originally

appeared in Journal of Education 178/3. 1996. Web 15 Sep