Yes, Tom Hiddleston. Yes, again… I’m not done with him just yet. These last couple of months, I was lucky enough to speak with quite a few hiddlestoners, most of them admins of Facebook pages dedicated to him and/or to the characters he has brought to life (especially Loki). One of them, Mumzy (hello, darling!), came with a brilliant idea while we were chatting: why not write an article about why fans love “Shakespeare Tom”? And I was just standing in front of the laptop: why didn’t I think of that? That conversation took place right after my birthday, a bit too long ago for my taste, but its time has come.
Unlike my other articles dedicated to Tom, this time I find myself unable to speak about the general reactions of his fans. Every person has her (or his) own reasons for loving and admiring him. We spoke about that topic here. Why do fans love “Shakespeare Tom”? Honestly, I have no idea… I’m hoping to find the answer to that question as well. Why do I love that side of him? I can answer this question.
A couple of years ago, a professor from Scotland came and taught at our University for a semester. I loved that class. It had nothing to do with literature, but sometimes we did stop and speak about certain texts. And I remember one specific break when, for whatever reason, we started talking about Shakespeare. I admitted that I didn’t really like his plays and poetry at the beginning. He smiled, nodded and said one thing that got stuck in my mind: “it grows on you”. And how right he was. All I needed was a push in the right direction. The thing is… what people need – regardless of the age – are good teachers. Someone to guide them when it comes to the important aspects of life – in this case, art – and then let them discover the secrets of literature or music by themselves. Right now, speaking only of Shakespeare, Tom Hiddleston plays that role for me.
I love people who love to read, who love art in general. People who know more than me, who make me believe time and time again that life is more than what those who have lost their dreams try to make it out to be. Life is beautiful; all you have to do is open your eyes, your mind, your heart and let that beauty wash over you. Tom Hiddleston does that for his fans. Simply put, he’s a worthy role-model. We all love his films, we love how he can go from perfect gentleman to utter dork in the blink of an eye. I work with children and teenagers and I love it when I can turn to his work and show it as a good example.
We all need positive people in our lives and it’s a shame we do not have more of them… or we do not know how to properly appreciate them. We, his fans (yes, I dare consider myself a fan now), admire Tom and dedicate some of our time to him. Why? Because he deserves it. He deserves being known for what he does, more than he already is. You’d be surprised how many people have no idea who this wonderful man is.
So where does Shakespeare fit in everything I’ve said so far? I returned to him, I decided to come back and read the texts he left for us. I can only thank Tom for that. He is so passionate about Shakespeare, he can barely speak more than ten minutes without quoting him or mentioning his work in some way. It’s inspiring. It’s beautiful. It shows that he isn’t afraid to bring forth what he knows, that he is proud of his knowledge and always ready to use it when he acts or in everyday life. How can you not love someone who treats poetry with a care so tender it might rival a lover’s touch?
I’m never ashamed to admit that I admire Tom Hiddleston, the actor and the man. I could present a paper in front of the class; I could make a presentation on Shakespeare and use materials with Tom (audio, film, pictures). He’s such a fan boy; when asked who he’d like to meet, his answer was – obviously – Shakespeare. I’d pay good money to see that meeting take place. I think Shakespeare would be pleased to meet his fan, Tom is right at home in his plays and you can’t help but long for more when he recites a poem or two… or ten.
Not many artists are so open about what they love, about what inspires them. I can only hope that this will change in the near future. I want to hear more people talk about literature, music, painting… true art. We should be grateful that Tom is one of those who does is. The fans found something special in him and we are unwilling to let it go. Either we loved Shakespeare or didn’t pay much attention to him, Tom Hiddleston played an important role in bringing him back to our attention. He speaks of Shakespeare with such admiration and enthusiasm, it’s impossible not to get hooked. He understands his work and urges you to try to understand it as well. Bottom line, we were seduced by this actor’s voice and fell in love with the bard’s texts. And we love every minute of it.
To wrap everything up, if you search for “Tom Hiddleston” on this website, you will find some videos with his reading a few of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Before I leave you in his company, allow me one final question: why do you love “Shakespeare Tom”?
Tom Hiddleston Performs ‘Henry V’ Monologue
Tom Hiddleston Interview on Shakespeare in Movies
Labyrinth of Shakespeare
Tom Hiddleston on Coriolanus
Tom Hiddleston: his favourite Shakespearian female character
by Elena Atudosiei