Allegory of the Cave
Directions: Choose one (1) prompt from each of the four (4) sections below and write a 175-350 word (1/2 page to 1 page) response. All responses should be typed and double spaced. Please use this document to record your responses.
I. Allegory of the Cave
1. Plato writes in “The Allegory of the Cave:” “And when he got into the sunlight, wouldn’t his eyes be filled with glare, and wouldn’t he thus be unable to see . . . and . . . if this person who had gotten out of the cave were to go back down again and sit in the same place as before, would he not find in that case, coming suddenly out of the sunlight, that his eyes were filled with darkness?” How is Plato using light as a metaphor here? What is Plato suggesting about the nature of ignorance and enlightenment?
2. In “The Allegory of the Cave,” Plato suggests that when the ignorant man is challenged with seeing the world as it truly is, he will first reject it out of fear, preferring his fantasy to reality, what he thinks he knows for what is. Are humans this way? Provide real world examples that either support or refute this contention.
3. Compare Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” to the 1999 film The Matrix, specifically the “red pill, blue pill” scene. What is the significance of the pill? How do the two stories explore the human nature of transitioning from ignorance to enlightenment?
1. In “The Doctrine of the Mean,” explain what you think Aristotle means when he writes: “a master in any art avoids what is too much and what is too little, and seeks for the mean and chooses it—not the absolute but the relative mean”?
2. Define “virtue” as found in Aristotle’s “Doctrine of the Mean.”
3. In “The Doctrine of the Mean,” Aristotle writes that virtue “is a habit or trained faculty of choice.” What do you think Aristotle means by this?
1. Discuss the motif of change in Metamorphosis. How is Ovid influenced by the recognition that all living things share certain similarities?
2. In Metamorphosis, Ovid attempts to reconcile creation narratives from many different cultures. How? Reference at least 2 other creation narratives in your response.
3. In Metamorphosis, Ovid asserts that it is man’s intellect that separates him from the beasts. It is man’s intellect that makes him like god. Explore this idea in Metamorphosis and in at least one other creation narrative.
IV. The Myth of Er
1. In The Myth of Er, explain what you think is meant by the following: “Your genius will not be allotted to you, but you will choose your genius; and let him who draws the first lot have the first choice, and the life which he chooses shall be his destiny. Virtue is free, and as a man honors or dishonors her he will have more or less of her; the responsibility is with the chooser — God is justified.” What is the lesson here?
2. In The Myth of Er, when choosing their next incarnation, those souls descending from the heavens made hastier choices than those ascending from the underworld. Why?
Respond to one of the above prompts that you have not previously addressed. Copy and paste the prompt before your response. (If you have time, this would be a good idea).
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