Plato's Republic - The Three Great Analogies .
The Allegory of the Cave, like most things in philosophy, can be interpreted in many different ways. It basically says that people are chained to the wall of a cave and they have nothing to look at but shadows on the wall that are provided by another. This is all that they know and have never been out of the cave. The main point of the Allegory of the Cave is to give an example of the way that we all live our lives. Except for a chosen few like Christ, Gandhi and maybe even Socrates, no one is really enlightened, or has seen what life is all about. The remainder of us see what we think is reality when actually it is the "shadows" of true reality. The Shadow makers represent the opinions makers, or the people that make us look at the world the way we do.
An opinion maker can be anyone, a priest telling you how God wants you to live, ones parents teach them morals or the television. These shadows make us think that this is the way to live and that this is what is important in the world. As stated before, few can break the chains and escape the cave. When they do and find out what true reality is, most come back and want to spread the truth. In most cases these people are looked down upon for not conforming to the minds of others. Look at Christ, he was crucified for trying to teach as was Socrates. .
The main point of the Allegory is to illustrate the way in which we live and show how what we think is reality, are really just shadows. I seem to think there is another meaning to the Allegory of the Cave. I do believe while on Earth some do break their chains and escape the cave to see what reality is. I also believe that the rest of us break these chains in death. The Allegory says that it is painful to break the chains, and in most cases death is not pleasant. Once out of the chains what to do, where to go is the question. Only when the sunlight is spotted from the cave entrance does one know where to go.