Coleridge and Femininity
So far many critics have concentrated on male Romantic writers and their appropriation or colonization of the feminine. It must not be assumed that all male Romantics were simply striving to achieve powerful versions of masculine authority at the expense of the feminine. This study demonstrates Coleridge revered the womanhood and the feminine, even though his attitude toward women was ambiguous. Coleridge was not a feminist; but it is striking that Coleridge's advocacy of women's freedom and his sympathies with women, at least in theory, are clear. Aiming to encourage women to develop their individual personhood, Coleridge was remarkably sympathetic in his prose writings to certain aspects of the feminist agenda of his day. He expressed the opinion that women are generally better creatures than men in The Table Talk. Coleridge's notion of a future equality between the sexes is a more radical vision than the contemporary feminist Mary Wollstonecraft's. Coleridge's views were unusually enlightening for Romantic male writers who were male-centered.
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