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[515d] what do you suppose would be his answer if someone told him that what he had seen before was all a cheat and an illusion, but that now, being nearer to reality and turned toward more real things, he saw more truly? And if also one should point out to him each of the passing objects and constrain him by questions to say what it is, do you not think that he would be at a loss1 and that he would regard what he formerly saw as more real than the things now pointed out to him?” “Far more real,” he said.

“And if he were compelled to look at the light itself,

1 The entire passage is an obvious allegory of the painful experience of one whose false conceit of knowledge is tested by the Socratic elenchus. Cf. Soph. 230 B-D, and for ἀπορεῖνMeno 80 A, 84 B-C, Theaet. 149 A, Apol. 23 D. Cf. also What Plato Said, p. 5123 on Meno 80 A, Eurip.Hippol. 247τὸ γὰρ ὀρθοῦσθαι γνώμαν ὀδυνᾷ, “it is painful to have one's opinions set right,” and 517 A, 494 D.

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