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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Shakespeare's Language and Caloric Benefits

Book World pointed the way to this article in the Times. "Reading Shakespeare excites the brain in a way that keeps it fit," according to researchers.

"Monitoring participants with brain-imaging equipment, they found that certain lines from Shakespeare and other great writers such as Chaucer and Wordsworth caused the brain to spark with electrical activity because of the unusual words or sentence structure."

I agree, whatever gets those synapses firing is good, for more reasons than preventing dementia. Shakespeare's language excites the brain, imagination, appreciation of beauty, sense of humanity, curiosity, admiration of courage and loyalty, sympathy, empathy, sense of humor, and more.

And Maggie posted an interesting fact: You burn more calories reading than watching television! Isn't that wonderful? If I were still teaching it would be one of the things I posted on the board and left all year. Check out the rest of Maggie's post.


  1. I really need to read Shakespeare (can't even say read I never pick him up!). Wow--how cool that reading burns more calories--I wonder why? Turning the pages?

  2. Dorothy- Marvelous, isn't it!

    Maggie- Thanks for the link!

    Danielle- Watch the Kenneth Brannagh versions of Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing -one tragedy, one comedy - but both so well done. The language is wonderful. When high school football players tell you they practice the lines in front of a know it's good stuff.

  3. Do I sense a new diet craze? Move over South Beach!