Shakespeare's literary career, which spanned a quarter century roughly between the years 1587 and 1612, came at a time when the English language was at a powerful stage of development. The great fluidity of Early Modern English gave Shakespeare an enormous amount of room to innovate.
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, the way a rapper like Snoop Dogg has today.
-- "This Is Your Brain On Shakespeare" by Philip Davis for BigThink.com
Even Shakespeare studies have gone to brain imaging. Professor Davis shows how Shakespeare's creative use of language creates a greater 'Wow!' effect on the brain. By verbing nouns or using adjectives as verbs and all such linguisitic legerdemain, the audience or the reader is made to focus more on what is being said, and of course this is not merely random, but in Shakespeare's poetic hands, we are effectively excited by the new and unusual conjurations of meaningfulness. Davis goes on to generalize on how the brain may need to feed on such creativity:
For Davis, we need creative language "to keep the brain alive." He points out that so much of our language today, written in bullet points or simple sentences, fall into predictability. "You can often tell what someone is going to say before they finish their sentence" he says. "This represents a gradual deadening of the brain."
I suppose part of our problem today is that we have become less of a literary culture, preferring the heat and color of video, which may be more exciting for the genitals but starves the brain and strangles the soul.(Article and video courtesy of Sully)