Journeys Essay

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The concept of journeys is explored in texts in a range of metaphorical ways. Journeys are about learning and growth. This can be clearly seen in the texts, ‘The Tempest’ by William Shakespeare, the film ‘The Wizard of Oz’, and the novel ‘Peter and Wendy’ written by James M. Barrie. These texts all deal with magical journeys that require us to believe in alternative worlds beyond the limits of our ordinary humanity. Yet each, also, is about a quest to return home, back to the familiar, having learned the lessons taught to us by the fantastical. ‘The Tempest’ is a journey through magical places and happenings that results, for most of the characters, in self-realisation, knowledge and fulfillment. However, there are many obstacles to be overcome, as the worlds of reality and imagination collide and fuse. Initially, ‘The Tempest’ is a tale of revenge, as the wronged Prospero plays with the shipwrecked royal party who caused him his banishment. He uses magic and his sprite, Ariel, to lay traps and torment his enemies, while laying a path to romance for his daughter, Miranda, and Ferdinand, son of Prospero’s younger brother and the man who usurped his throne. Ultimately, it is the love of Miranda and Ferdinand that shifts Prospero’s focus from revenge to redemption, as he forgives his enemies. The members of the group who banished Prospero, through their trials on the island, come, to some degree, to recognise the wrongs of their actions and seek this forgiveness. Prospero even finds it in his heart to forgive the monstrous Caliban and free his loyal servant Ariel. Prospero tells Ariel; ‘The rarer action is in virtue than in vengeance’, that is, it is rarer and ultimately more worthy to forgive than hate one’s enemies. One example of the imaginative journey that both the audience and the characters undertake is the masque. Here we see goddesses of mythology; Iris,

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