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Suppose... that someone should drag him... by force, up the rough ascent, the steep way up, and never stop until he could drag him out into the light of the sun.

― Plato in his Allegory of the Cave [1]

Plato (Ancient Greek: Πλάτων) was an ancient Greek philosopher. His Allegory of the Cave is a strong influence on the concept of the Matrix.

Allegory of the Cave[]

The Allegory of the Cave, sometimes called Plato's Cave, explores the themes of reality and perception. Proposing that our perception of reality is not truth.

Plato describes a group of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, face a blank cave wall. The people, or prisoners, watch shadows projected on the wall from objects passing in front of a fire behind them. These shadows are given names and are reality to the prisoners.

In the allegory, Plato goes on to describe the exit from the cave. Proposing that a single prisoner is somehow freed. Plato then describes their journey towards truth.

According to Plato, once free the former prisoner will look around. Plato claims that the prisoner would see the fire first and not the objects. Plato writes: "... it would hurt his eyes..."[2] Plato claims that if the freed prisoner is told that the truth they would "... escape by turning away to the things which he was able to look at..."[2] Rejecting the truth as too painful, the freed prisoner would turn back to the shadows on the wall.


  1. Plato. Rouse, W.H.D., ed. The Republic Book VII. Penguin Group Inc. pp. 365–401.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Plato. Rouse, W.H.D., ed. The Republic Book VII. Penguin Group Inc. pp. 365–401.