Essay: Socratic & Platonic concepts in ‘The Matrix’

Sample Essay

The plot of the movie “The Matrix” can be construed in various ways; a highlighting characteristic is certainly philosophy.

“The Matrix” poses a question to the viewer as to “what is reality”. Is the Matrix actually a program generated by the computer? Is Zion free? If so, who is not free? The most astounding part of the movie is when Thomas Anderson is “unplugged” from the matrix, meaning set free from the matrix (Cress, 1999). Unexpectedly, once he is unplugged, the perception of reality is changed. He is then told that all he ever alleged in is no longer present in reality; it was just a delusion.

This underlying theme of “reality” is evident in studies by Socrates and Plato, such as the “the cave”. Comparable instances in the film and philosophical thoughts include the release of Neo from the Matrix and moved into the world of reality. This is evident in most part of Socrates studies as his question raised to humanity is “what is real?” (William 2002)

Thus the allegory of cave can also be termed as the allegory of Matrix. Plato’s teachings identify that what we believe to be true may be real mostly but sometimes also tends to be unrealistic. For example, in the movie The Matrix, Neo’s faith in reality is devastated when he swallows the red pill and his beliefs are refreshed (Cress, 1999). A prime instance of philosophy that can be seen in the movie is when Morpheus poses a question to Neo’s faith “Do you believe that’s air that you are inhaling?”. This is similar to what Socrates said when he discussed ideas in philosophy (Boettke, 2003).

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