The sun, which provides the light in the mouth of the cave in the allegory of the cave, is recognized by the escaped prisoner as the source of the light that allows him to see the objects around him. The sun is like the Form of the Good, which is the source of all other Forms. If you know and understand the Form of the Good, then you will understand all the other forms. The sun, which leads the prisoner out of darkness, is like education, which leads the individual out of ignorance to understanding.
The Sun Quotes in The Republic
The The Republic quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Sun. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Publications edition of The Republic published in 2000.).
Book 7 Quotes
But, whether true or false, my opinion is that in the world of knowledge the idea of good appears last of all, and is seen only with an effort; and, when seen, is also inferred to be the universal author of all things beautiful and right, parent of light and of the lord of light in this visible world, and the immediate source of reason and truth in the intellectual; and that this is the power upon which he who would act rationally either in public or private life must have his eye fixed.
The Sun Symbol Timeline in The Republic
The timeline below shows where the symbol The Sun appears in The Republic. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.