Imaginative Journeys

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An imaginative journey can be defined as an extension of reality that transcends physical barriers. Through the use of abstract notions and an element of surrealism, an imaginative journey can result in distortion of the boundaries between imagination and reality. This type of journey involves readers by drawing on their imagination and can therefore result in the transformation of perceptions and attitudes, which may also stimulate a sense of enlightenment for both the characters and the responder. These characteristics are evident in the three texts I have studied, “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare, Victor Fleming’s, “The Wizard of Oz” and “Sky High” by Hannah Robert.

In “The Tempest”, William Shakespeare leads the reader into an island in a realm beyond reality, which generates obstacles and challenges that aid the characters in their self-discovery process. During their time on the island, they are encouraged to expand themselves and become more than what they think they are. This journey is especially evident within the protagonist, Prospero, as he is able to grow in many aspects of his entire being. Comparing his initial plans of retribution and punishment towards his brother Antonio, with his attitudes of reconciliation and resolution at the end of the play, it is apparent that he has undertaken a journey of self-discovery. Somewhere along the way, Prospero has arrived at a realisation, during which he comprehends that “the rarer action is in virtue, than in vengeance” (Act 5, Scene 1), meaning that it is both rare and ultimately more admirable to exonerate, than to hate one’s enemies. This sense of illumination and enlightenment is achieved through the island’s magical properties that stimulate growth within the characters, and also Prospero’s love for his daughter, Miranda, which humbled him greatly.

As the characters each undertake their individual journeys of enlightenment and self-discovery, the reader too, is led into Shakespeare’s magical...
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