There was also this composition of Martianus Capella about the wedding of Mercury and Philogia with the seven liberal arts as guests. (Guthrie, 1981; Hamilton and Cairns, 1961)
In the allegory, Plato depicts humans as prisoners chained in their thoughts. When they look at the shadows, they mistake its appearance for reality. They think that what they see on the wall is actually real and could not comprehend the true causes of the shadows. If for example, a shadow looks like a shovel, they would say "I see a shovel" but then again he is only looking at the shovel.
For Plato, the prisoners would be mistakenly taking the terms in their language to refer to the shadows that pass before their eyes, rather than to the real things that cast the shadows. This is the reason why people where represented by prisoners. They are bound to their belief much to the point that they are addicted with as the term shackle would imply. In a word, they keep on believing and interpreting something which is superficial.
Plato can therefore be seen as referring to a higher reality. In his allegory, his point was that the general terms of our language are not "names" of the physical objects per se but are actually names of things that we cannot see, things that we can only grasp with the mind. (Irwin, 1995; Jackson, 2001; Kochin, 2002; Kraut, 1993)
I have no qualms on philosophers as l ...