Plato's Metaphors

Plato's Republic is an influential work of philosophy and political theory by the Greek philosopher Plato, written in approximately 360 BC. It is written in the format of a Socratic dialogue.

Plato's Republic is the supreme product of Plato's most mature years, thought, and style. It contains virtually the entire universe of Plato's philosophy.


Plato's Allegory of the Cave is an allegory used by Plato in The Republic. The Allegory of the Cave is told and then interpreted by the character Socrates at the beginning of Book 7. It is related to Plato's metaphor of the sun and the analogy of the divided line. Allegories are summarized in the viewpoint of dialectic at the end of book VII.

(Metaphors: 'Cave' represents the Mind or Human Consciousness. 'Prisoners' represent the human experiment.)

Analogy of the divided line -- Plato, in his dialogue The Republic Book 6 (509D - 513E), has Socrates explain the literary device of a divided line to teach basic philosophical views about four levels of existence (especially "the intelligible" world of the forms, universals, and "the visible" world we see around us) and the corresponding ways we come to know what exists.


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