The imagnative journey as a recurring literary concept in Shakespeare's "The Tempest", Margaret Atwood's "Journey to the Interior","The Wizard of Oz" and the Cirque de Soliel film "Journey of Man".

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The concept of journey is universal, permeating generations, societies and cultures. Through imaginative means composers have demonstrated how important the journey theme is in human experience and the opportunities journeys present for self discovery and enlightenment. Margaret Atwood's poem Journey to the Interior and Victor Fleming's 1939 film The Wizard of Oz invite us to lose touch with reality and embark on an imaginative journey to understanding while Shakespeare's play The Tempest and the Cirque de Soleil film Journey of Man, expose responders to worlds outside their own. Through constructing worlds of speculation, inspiration and discovery, these four texts enhance our understanding of the importance of journey in human experience. They prove that imaginative journeys are not exclusive in their motivation or implication, but rather hold relevance despite differences in medium and context.

Both Fleming and Shakespeare begin their journeys tumultuously. The transition from reality to the fantasy of Oz is achieved by the twister scene, powerfully symbolic of the turmoil of Dorothy's world.

As we journey "somewhere over the rainbow" there is a dramatic shift in colour palette from the sepia, expressionistic tones of the Kansas scenes to the bright vibrant colours of Oz. Shakespeare uses a similar scene of turmoil to portray the shift between reality and fantasy within his text The Tempest. Here the imaginative journey begins via a tempest tossed ship at the mercy of "roarers" that "care" little "for the name of the King." The tempest is a metaphor for the chaos and order that was characterised by the political and social systems at work during the Jacobean era. The boatswains rebuke to the King to "keep below" is a subtle subversion of the feudal hierarchy as symbolised by the storm. The Tempest, a literary text, is essentially a fantasy construction. Its characters including...