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Compare And Contrast Plato’s Allegory Of The Cave Essay

Plato and Niccolo Machiavelli magnificent ideologies for leaders of the world. First Plato’s dialogue Allegory of the Cave described what would happen if prisoners were chained to a wall and could only see the shadows before them. The shadows were visuals on the wall from the fire blazing behind them. Plato stated a quote about what would happen if those prisoners were to be released out of the cave? His reasoning for this was to produce what the human natures method is of gaining knowledge.

Then, Niccolo Machiavelli described in The Prince why qualities are essential in succeeding as a prince. He stated that “qualities bring either blame or praise (Machiavelli). Therefore, it is significant to suppress negative qualities and let the positive qualities flourish. Thirdly, Plato also described the process of the bodily eyes going in and coming out of the light; the eyes need to adjust. The important factor is the mind’s eye operates in an identical method. Therefore, the mind’s eye is required to adapt and gain knowledge through similar methods.

Lastly, in the The Prince Niccolo Machiavelli quoted about a prince possessing qualities that will assist in protecting themselves against unknown and known threats. The primary qualities to possess are of a fox and a lion. Both Plato and Niccolo Machiavelli are both conservative, however, their methods are completely different. Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is a dialogue describing human nature through prisoners who are chained to a wall.

There is a quote from the dialogue that explains what will happen if the prisoners are released from the shackles and able to journey utside. The quote from Allegory of the Cave that is fascinating is: He will require to grow accustomed to the sight of the upper world, and first he will see the shadows best, next the reflections of men and other objects in the water, and then the objects themselves; then he will gaze upon the light of the moon and the stars and spangled heaven; and he will see the sky and the stars by night better than the sun or the light of the sun by day (22)? The quote is a description of what will happen if prisoners who were chained up to the wall.

They could only see the shadows that were on the wall from a fire blazing behind them; inside of a cave where it is dark, the only light is a fire. If the prisoners were released from the wall and cave the visuals of the outside world will be difficult to view. The writer wants to know if they will see better at night better than the sun at day? I believe the prisoners would see better at night since there eyes are more adapted to the dark than the light. Following an analytical reasoning of the quote, my interpretation is that the quote is to a greater extent than just objects.

The sights that are described are actually the steps an individual must take to gain knowledge and comprehension of human nature. The meaning of the prisoners seeing better at night means they have mastered the world’s reality. Therefore, the hidden knowledge has come to the light. Since the knowledge was hidden it is the shadows that were viewed on the wall, however, those shadows were perceived, but, the images were falsely perceived. The quote is powerful because it describes what it would be like if a prisoner was released from a dark cave where the only light was a fire.

The prisoner is an individual who lacks knowledge of the world’s reality. Therefore, when the prisoner is released and has a visual of the light and can perceive objects for what they truly are; that individual has gained the knowledge of human nature. Qualities are important factors when an individual has the legend prince. Why are qualities important? Niccolo Machiavelli stated in The Prince that: “I say that all men when they are spoken of, and chiefly princes for being more highly placed, are remarkable for some qualities which bring them either blame or praise (33).

The quote states that an individual’s reputation is what generates the expressions that are spoken regarding princes. Some of the statements can be positive and some might be negative. If the qualities are positive this will be the cause for others to praise the prince, however, if the qualities are negative this will cause the prince to be the blame for numerous situations. The prince has an huge impact of the types of qualities that possess. However, each prince longs to be praised and not blamed for their qualities.

This would mean that the negative qualities that an individual possesses must be hidden and not shown to prevent them from being degraded as a leader. All men will be spoken of especially those in power, moreover, they will either be praised or blamed for their qualities. Therefore, it is important to secure those negative qualities. However, even with the negative qualities one can prosper as a prince. Plato also described the process of an individual going in and out of the light. However, the meaning of the light isn’t the visible light we see.

Anyone who has common sense will remember that the bewilderments of the eyes are of two kinds, and arise from two causes, either from coming out of the light or from going into the light, which is true of the mind’s eye, quite as much as of the bodily eye (24). The quote describes the causes of going into or coming out of the light. Typically the eyes would need time to adapt from the two atmospheres. Following an analytical process of what the quote truly means I found that the light and dark represent the appropriate knowledge.

The bodily eye sees visuals, however, the eyes will need time if an individual was to go into the light or from coming out of the light. The mind’s eye are similar because individuals need to time to gain knowledge. The mind is constantly adapting to new atmospheres. Human nature is the atmosphere. Niccolo Machiavelli made an superb factor of what a prince would need to possess as a characteristic in order to continue to contain power as a leader or to acquire power.

Niccolo Machiavelli stated that: A prince, therefore, being compelled knowingly to adopt the beast, ought to choose the fox and the lion; because the lion cannot defend himself against snares and the fox cannot defend himself against the wolves. Therefore, it is necessary to be a fox to discover the snares and a lion to terrify the wolves (39). The fox is a wild animal that is inconvenient to catch because of its knowledge, however, the fox is vulnerable to attacks from wolves.

The lion is a wild animal that can defend against wolves but, lacks the sneakiness and knowledge that the fox possesses, therefore, the lion is vulnerable to being captured by a snare. Consequently, a prince must possess both characteristics that a fox and lion have. These characteristics are significant for a prince. The prince will be the target of numerous unknown individuals, therefore, the fox attributes since the fox has the knowledge to know if an object is threatening or a possible hazard for that matter.

The prince will have these qualities to discover the unknown. However, the prince must also have the lions attributes which is a beast and can defend against all attacks like wolves. The wolves are known threats that the lion can demolish, however, the lion lacks the intelligence to discover a snare. Therefore, it is crucial that the prince possess both the fox and the lions characteristics; as a result the individual can conquer all possible threats from the known and unknown.

Plato and Niccolo Machiavelli are both conservatives who believe that it is an individual’s personal responsibility to gain knowledge or power. Plato uses techniques to help understand human nature and to use one’s mind to gain knowledge. The first quote Plato describes that an individual can see better at night than day; meaning he can see the reality of the world. However, Niccolo Machiavelli is more aggressive with his methods. The Prince uses hidden qualities and aggressive approaches like the lion as a quality. Nevertheless their objective is to shine light on intelligence.

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