Books and Movies Reviews


Discuss the significance and relevance of Plato's account of mimesis and the authenticity of the copy in respect of one of the following films: The Matrix. In your answer pay close attention to both the film's form and its content.
The Wachowski brother's'The Matrix' presents a world of illusion, where nothing is as it seems. A world created by computers, run by artificial intelligence. It draws strongly on Platonic theory by showing that only when this fake world is looked at from the outside, from an objective viewpoint, can it be understood, and only when this world of imitation is understood can it be overcome.
The work of art in the contemporary world sees allegory, ie. the ability of the story to tell another point for point, as a crucial characteristic. This criteria allows for depth in the work beyond aesthetic, giving art various possible readings and interpretations and allowing the artist/director to retell a story and simultaneously put their own perspective on the tale.The sci-fi epic The Matrix is a prime example of this very post-modern trait. Several allegories are contained within The Matrix's structure and content. The obvious and relevant allegories that of Plato's cave.
Interestingly, the ancient Greek philosopher's cave story was itself an allegory devised by Plato "for the degree to which our nature is educated for the state of human existence", or for the plight of man as Plato saw it. The Matrix, in this light, is a copy of a copy.
Looking at the movie in regards to its similarities with Plato's text.
Plato begins by conjuring an image for his audience: people living in an underground place, like a cave. They are restricted in their visions of the world by chains, and they have been there ever since childhood. Similarly, in the Matrix, the human species is being controlled by artificial intelligence. The people are in captivity, and the…