This is your brain on Shakespeare. In a study reminiscent of “the Mozart Effect,” Philip Davis has begun to explore the relationship between Shakespeare’s use of language and its impact on our brain functioning. A fascinating, fertile field of study. He was looking specifically act Shakespeare’s use of “functional shift,” a linguistic term to describe when Shakespeare uses a noun as a verb or as an adjective. Edgar’s line, “He childed as I fathered” in King Lear is used as an example of how this technique stimulates our brain, potentially opening up new neurological pathways. Very interesting article, and here are some of Davis’ preliminary conclusions:
In that case Shakespeare’s art would be no more and no less than the supreme example of a mobile, creative and adaptive human capacity, in deep relation between brain and language. It makes new combinations, creates new networks, with changed circuitry and added levels, layers and overlaps. And all the time it works like the cry of “action” on a film-set, by sudden peaks of activity and excitement dramatically breaking through into consciousness.
Check out the article here.