The Allegory of the Cave Character Evaluation
Socrates is the first-person narrator of The Republic, created by his trainee and mentee, Plato. Little is understood of him as a historic figure except through the representations of him that survive via his adherents, particularly Plato. The Socrates who tells The Republic is often called the “Platonic Socrates,” and scholars have doubted whether this depiction is really exact, or whether he might be a veiled version of Plato himself.
These narratorial obscurities aside, the Socrates represented in “The allegory of the Cave” (and throughout The Republic), is a smart instructor who, through a series of discussions, exposes his approaches on the nature of values, society, and also the suitable federal government. In this section, Socrates does the vast majority of the talking, developing a hypothetical situation (the allegory itself) in order to highlight to his target market, Glaucon, his concept of knowledge, how it can and must be obtained, and the responsibilities of those that achieve it.
Throughout the Allegory, Socrates frameworks his suggestions in the form of inquiries (“… would certainly they not mean that their words referred just to those passing darkness which they saw?” [paragraph 9, line 1], which enables him to find off not even a pedant, patronizing Glaucon, yet instead as a fellow investigator, trying to understand the globe. However, in the one moment where Glaucon provides an alternative viewpoint (paragraph 46), Socrates very rapidly sets him right: “You have forgotten once again, my pal …” (paragraph 47, line 1).
In this section of The Republic, Glaucon works generally as target market and appearing board for Socrates to recommend his theories on wisdom. Interestingly, the historical figure of Glaucon is the writer, Plato’s, older sibling, as well as fellow pupil of Socrates. Like Socrates, little is known of him as a historical figure, past what endures in Plato’s writings. In “The Allegory of the Cave,” Glaucon, while present, frequently continues to be in the background, giving succinct favorable reinforcement for Socrates’ suggestions (numerous of his lines in the initial two web pages being, “I see” [paragraph 2], “Certainly” [paragraph 8], as well as “No doubt” [paragraph 12].
This has the ornate effect of making Socrates’ debates appear all the more convincing, given that he is plainly convincing this concrete audience member. While a lot of his actions are a lot echo-chamber white noise, Glaucon does provide a crucial viewpoint late in the essay, after Socrates has actually claimed 7 sensible philosopher, once having attained knowledge, has a moral responsibility to leave that enlightened aircraft and go back to the world of ignorance in order to inform as well as guide others.
Glaucon responds, “Shall we not be doing them an injustice, if we compel on them an even worse life than they might have?” (paragraph 46), which permits Socrates to get to an element of knowledge as well as leadership that or else might have continued to be covert.
The writer himself, Plato, also contributes, albeit a covert one. As was mentioned in Socrates’ area, it is via the works of Plato as well as his various other disciples that we know concerning Socrates in any way, considering that Socrates did not leave behind writing of his very own (none that made it through at least).
Hence, in The Republic, we see Socrates’ concepts provided through Plato’s analysis of those concepts. It is tough to inform for the laid-back visitor whether or not these are true transcriptions of dialogues Socrates had, with Plato as devoted stenographer, or whether Socrates functions as a hassle-free token for Plato’s very own suggestions, though definitely, as a student of Socrates, these concepts would be formed around Socrates’ mentors. This ambiguity is one of the many interesting elements of Plato’s works.