34 pages 1 hour read


Allegory Of The Cave

Nonfiction | Essay / Speech | Adult | BCE

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Before Reading

Reading Context

Use these questions or activities to help gauge students’ familiarity with and spark their interest in the context of the work, giving them an entry point into the text itself.

Short Answer


1. What is an allegory? What are some examples of allegories or parables that you have encountered? With what kind of literature do you associate allegory?

Teaching Suggestion: An allegory is a story that contains a deeper meaning or lesson. In an allegory, complicated ideas are symbolized by people or things. It is like a parable, which is a simple story, often including animal characters, told to illustrate a sophisticated religious or ethical lesson. Parables in particular are closely associated with religious literature and scripture. In the Gospels, for example, Jesus couches many of his most important spiritual lessons in parables. Discussing some examples of famous parables or allegories (e.g., the parables of the Prodigal Son, the blind men and the elephant, or even the boy who cried wolf) can help students understand the basic elements of this device.

  • This resource page from SuperSummary provides a glossary of many literary elements and devices, including allegory and parable.
  • This article from MasterClass contains an in-depth discussion of allegory in literature, including important examples.