Allegory Definition


Why does the text say that Plato’s allegory tells a story, then contradict itself and say that Plato’s allegory doesn’t tell a story?

Although an allegory uses symbols, it is different from symbolism. An allegory is a complete narrative that involves characters and events that stand for an abstract idea or event. A symbol, on the other hand, is an object that stands for another object, giving it a particular meaning. Unlike allegory, symbolism does not tell a story. For example, Plato, in his Allegory of Cave, tells a story of how some people are ignorant, while at the same time other people “see the light.” Plato’s allegory stands for an idea and does not tell an actual story. 

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The emphasis is on “actual story.” If you have read Allegory of Cave, you will easily understand the meanings.

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