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What is the symbolism of the sun and darkness in Socrates' Allegory of the Cave?

I am reading the allegory of the cave for the first time. Is it a metaphor for intelligence and dumbness (for lack of a better term), or what?
Please don’t copy and paste your answer from an online source. I want your answer, not wiki’s.
*I chose a best answer*
I mean Plato, sorry, not Socrates.


  1. You could be correct in interpreting “intelligence” as the light outside of the cave and the cave itself to people “blinded” by what is actually there in front of them. Within the story it discusses how people are chained and not allowed to look around them. There is a fire behind them that allows them to only see shadows. Yet, once they “see the light” and notice what the shadows truly are is only when their full potential (intellectually) is revealed. You could look at the story and compare it to teachers and students. Students are chained to what the teachers reveal to them; their own perspectives. Yet, if the student chooses to go beyond the teachers thoughts they then see a new “light.”
    If you want to look at the story in a religious fashion you can state that darkness (the cave) is the sin we live in. Once we believe in God (the light) our eyes will then look at the world in a whole new way.
    I hope this helps you out. 🙂

  2. the allegory of the cave was first told in Plato’s Republic. the sun is complete knowledge, wisdom and enlightenment while darkness is incomplete knowledge or our own limited understanding of the world not knowing that the world we live in is made of shadows and not reality. reality is out there and is known to those who believe in the original form of which this world is a copy.

  3. Sun is the world of ‘Idea’s (thats the greek term), which ‘s forms in english.
    When you open your eyes in that cave, all that darkness stands for the shadows and for the whole material around the world, because they always do change, and doesn’t lead us to the absolute truth.


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