I read the cave when I was in 7th grade at the age of 12 and had the teacher go over it and over it for a good week.
Was assigned the Republic in univ when I was like 21 I think. Couldn't read it, I don't know if it was the translation or the content, but I really couldn't get myself past the first page :/ .
I am not very big into philosophy lol, that may be my issue with him. I like hearing about his life and what he taught, I just don't like actually reading what he wrote and analyzing his ideas. I'd rather learn about where he lived, what he ate, who he dated, who he affected politically and such and the effects of his ideas....instead of the ideas themselves @_@.
That sounded strange, but there you have it: history/archaeology > philosophy.
Just had to read a fair amount of Plato for a basic texts class. eek It was definitely interesting, but I was having a hard time fully grasping everything I was reading, since we were having to churn through it fairly quickly. I felt like the dialogue was going in circles at times, though the conversation between Socrates and Diotima was intriguing (which was The Symposium, now that I think about it. Sorry about that. We read a fragment of the Republic, The Symposium, and Phaedo.) The cave was an intriguing analogy. I would definitely like to go back and take my time perusing it, to see if I can grasp the concepts more fully.