This allegory (R.,514 a 1–517 a 6) is among the most well-traversed passages in Plato's dialogues and deservedly so. Its emotional impact is undeniable, yet it confronts the reader with several problems of interpretation. There is a strong sense that it is of central importance to the crucial questions of the Platonic philosopher's education and his role in society, and it possibly holds one key to an understanding of the Republic as a whole.
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