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The Matrix and The Allegory of the Cave

             In medieval thinking, the allegory used as a literary device- was accepted as having a reality underlying rhetorical or fictional uses. The allegory was as true as the facts of surface appearances. This figure of rhetoric has been widely used throughout the histories of all forms of art; a major reason for this is its immense power to illustrate complex ideas and concepts in ways that are easily digestible and tangible to viewers, readers, or listeners. It conveys a hidden message through symbolic figures, actions, imagery, and events; these features should be taken into consideration when interpreting allegorical writings in order to unravel the meaning hidden underneath the surface. Thus, it could be said that an allegory is an extended metaphor. One of the best known examples is Platos Allegory of the Cave, included in his acclaimed book The Republic. The aim of this paper is to explore the analogies found between the text aforementioned and The Matrix, and analyze the meaning of the elements present in both works.
             In ancient Greece, Platos endeavor has been to support rational foundationalism: he argues against coherency to the senses, asseverating the impossibility for humans to access the ultimate principle the Form or Idea of the Good- by means of the senses. On the one hand, this poses a problem since everything human beings think as real is what results tangible to their senses. On the other hand, they can never trust what the body perceives inasmuch as it is doubtlessly that the senses may be deceiving. In Platos text, the author presents his theory of knowledge through an allegory, a story constructed upon a series of symbolic elements. The allegory allows the author to establish an analogy, a comparison between two highly divergent subjects and remote from each other: the problem of knowledge and the lives of the dwellers of a cave. By comparing these subjects, Plato finds similitudes between the behavior of the inhabitants of the cave, how they move, see, and think, and the means in which the people have access to knowledge.

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