Plato – The Cave

The Allegory of the Cave is an allegory used by the Greek philosopher Plato in his work The Republic. The allegory of the cave is told as a fictional dialog between Plato’s teacher Socrates, and his own brother, Glaucon, at the beginning of Book 7 (514a520a). It is related to Plato’s metaphor of the sun (507b509c) and the analogy of the divided line (509d513e) which immediately precede it at the end of Book 6. Allegories are summarized in the viewpoint of dialectic at the end of book VII and VIII (531d-534e). The allegory of the cave is also commonly known as Myth of the Cave, Metaphor of the Cave, The Theory of Forms, or the Parable of the Cave.

Explanation of symbols on a Dogon miniature door from Mali

This video clip shows our Dogon guide explaining to Barbara the symbolism on a miniature door which she purchased in Dogon Country in central Mali. The video clip was taken on 20 January 2008. For information about the Dogon people, please refer to