The way he suddenly uses a noun as a verb - "He childed as I fathered" - or a noun as an adjective - "Kingdomed Achilles in commotion rages" - creates all sorts of impressions on the mind. So a neuroscientist conducted an experiment:
While the Shakespearian functional shift was semantically integrated with ease, it triggered a syntactic re-evaluation process likely to raise attention and give more weight to the sentence as a whole.
Shakespeare is stretching us; he is opening up the possibility of further peaks, new potential pathways or developments. Our findings show how Shakespeare created dramatic effects by implicitly taking advantage of the relative independence - at the neural level - of semantics and syntax in sentence comprehension. It is as though he is a pianist using one hand to keep the background melody going, whilst simultaneously the other pushes towards ever more complex variations and syncopations.
I knew all that already. It's still cool to see it demonstrated.
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