I Read Dead People Message Board › This is Your Brain on Shakespeare

This is Your Brain on Shakespeare

Sylvia
Photoshop_Fiend
Nashville, TN
Post #: 125
"In all of his plays, sonnets and narrative poems, Shakespeare used 17,677 words. Of these, he invented approximately 1,700, or nearly 10 percent. Shakespeare did this by changing the part of speech of words, adding prefixes and suffixes, connecting words together, borrowing from a foreign language, or by simply inventing them [...]

"Professor Philip Davis from the University of Liverpool's School of English[...] is studying what he calls 'functional shifts' that demonstrate how Shakespeare's creative mistakes 'shift mental pathways and open possibilities' for what the brain can do. It is Shakespeare's inventions--particularly his deliberate syntactic errors like changing the part of speech of a word--that excite us, rather than confuse us."

– "This is Your Brain on Shakespeare", excerpt

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