What does it mean to think like Shakespeare? In a letter to his brothers, the great English poet John Keats defined the essence of Shakespeare as Negative Capability. Keats writes:
"...what quality went to form a Man of Achievement especially in Literature & which Shakespeare possessed so enormously—I mean Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half knowledge."
Remaining content with half knowledge, or what we might call permanent beta, is a skill with great applicability for our times. In today's lesson, we examine how negative capability is the key to creative thinking.