Essay about Existential Ideas Of Two Distant Eras

1189 Words Oct 19th, 2015 5 Pages
Existential Ideas of Two Distant Eras Ever since the creation of the universe and life, humans and other intelligent beings have questioned their existence. Forms of art such as music, paintings, and literature attempt to provide answers to and comfort in the presence of life’s toughest questions. Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave” written circa 380 B.C.E. provides an early insight into the meanings of life for different individuals’ lives using existential principles much later defined by Jean-Paul Sartre. Over two millennia after Plato’s lifetime, Robert Frost’s “Design” published in 1936 takes the simplicity of flowing poetry also to an existential level. The philosophy of existentialism brings awareness of self to human beings which leads to a sense of free will rather than a sense of fated destinies. This free will causes humanity to question seemingly basic ideas such as why life exists, how life came into existence and what happens after one’s existence ends. Plato and Frost display existentialist philosophy in their works through the literary use of allegory and point of view. To demonstrate the use of existentialist philosophy in his work, Plato uses allegory. “The Allegory of the Cave”, in short, tells the story of a society in which the lowest class of humans live the lowest mentality of life in a cave; however, the narrator discusses what would become of one who hypothetically breaks out of the cave into the world of knowledge. This being, upon leaving the cave…

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