What is Negative Capability

Meaning of Negative Capability

If you are interested in English Literature, you should read this post.

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Negative Capability (नकारात्मक क्षमता) is a term शब्द (phrase वाक्यांश) first used by John Keats in 1817. John Keats introduced the concept of Negative Capability to his brothers, George Keats and Thomas Keats to explain the capacity of the greatest writers to pursue (आगे बढ़ाना, पीछा करना) a vision of artistic beauty even when it leads them into intellectual (बौद्धिक) confusion (भ्रम) and uncertainty (अनिश्चितता). He introduced it through a letter on 21st December, 1817. It is a theory first articulated (व्यक्त किया गया) by John Keats about the artist’s access to truth with pressure and framework (ढांचे) of logic or science. John Keats wrote the letter when he was returning from the Christmas pantomime(मूकाभिनय) with his friends.

He did not use the word’ negative capability’ in an offensive (अपमान जनक) sense, but to get over (पहुँचाना, व्यक्त करना) the idea that a person’s potential (क्षमता, संभावना) can be defined by what he or she does not possess- in this case a need to be clever (समझदार), a determination (दृढ निश्चय) to work everything out.

Negative Capability, a writer’s ability, “which Shakespeare possessed so enormously (आधिक्य)”, to accept ‘uncertainties, mysteries, doubts without any irritable (चिडचिडा) reaching after fact and reason’.

He described the word Negative Capability as- when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after face and reason. His notion (धारणा, विचार) of negative capability has been influential (प्रभावशाली) for those working outside of aesthetics (सौंदर्यशास्त्र) including scholars.

A writer or person possessing (धारण किये हुए) negative capability is objective (वस्तुनिष्ठ) and emotionally (भावनात्मक रूप से) detached (अलग). Works of a writer possessing negative capability may have beauties and depths that make conventional (पारंपरिक) considerations विचारों) of truth and morality (नैतिकता) irrelevant (असंगत, अप्रासंगिक).

He said that great poets should have the willingness (इच्छा, तत्परता) to remain in doubt and uncertainty and not to resolve conflicts or doubts. Mysteries, doubts and uncertainties are the best to open to imagination power. In this way, the element of doubt and ambiguity (अस्पष्टता) produced romanticism.

According to the Bedford Glossary of Literary and Critical Terms, in order for a poet to ‘perceive (समझना) reality in all its manifold (विविध) complexity (जटिलता), to embrace the unsure and ambiguous, to avoid the temptation (प्रलोभन) to rationalise (युक्ति-संगत) all uncertainties, to negate one’s own personality and prejudices (पूर्वाग्रह, ईर्ष्या)”, he or she must “Remain open-minded.  Keats believed that Shakespeare possessed the quality of negative capability.

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