A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

Values of Romanticism: Wollstonecraft, Coleridge, and Shelley 12th Grade

The Romantic period was a time of exceptional change, emphasising the power of imagination as a window to transcendent experience and spiritual health. Lasting from the late 18th to early 19th century, the transitory period of Romanticism challenged engraved societal paradigms, moving from a time of strict hierarchy based on rationality to a focus on individualism and idealism. The voices of the romantic zeitgeists were expressed through the arts, where the human experience, the natural world and the yearning for unity and social cohesion flourished throughout their work in a tumultuous time of shifting religious, economic and scientific views. The individuals who gave the Romantic period meaning and importance were Mary Wollstonecraft through her treatise A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), poets Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1797-98) and Percy Bysshe Shelley (1819), and finally John Constable, creator of the extravagant artwork The Hay Wain (1821). The transformative ideas communicated through these texts challenge ways of thinking, through a plethora of techniques.

The lack of substantive education available for women was thought to be for Wollstonecraft one of the primary reasons for women’s subordination. Creative...

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