Tom Hiddleston, Fans and Shakespeare

April 24, 2014

hiddles14Yes, 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 Great Performances: The Hollow Crown - Henry Vthat 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?

Tom Hiddleston as Coriolanus at the DonmarI’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 The-Hollow-Crown-tom-hiddleston-31264150-500-401Shakespeare’s sonnets. Before I leave you in his company, allow me one final question: why do you love “Shakespeare Tom”?

Why Fans Love Tom Hiddleston

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

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7 Responses to Tom Hiddleston, Fans and Shakespeare

  1. Aurélie Narducci on April 24, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    I am French and we don’t study Shakespeare at school. But, it’s true that since the beginning of my addiction to Tom,[ he is so passionate that piqued my curiosity] I watched The Holloow Crown in English (without subtitles because untranslated) and I found it so good I bought parts bilingual versions. Because iambic pentameter are very hard to understand
    for a person “speaking” a very very basic English! I even took Hamlet. The only one I can’t find is Cymbeline .I’m immersion mode to shakespeare (a little more culture does not hurt )Thanks for the article!

    • Elena Atudosiei on April 24, 2014 at 7:22 pm

      Thank you for the comment! 🙂 I agree, a little more culture never hurts. And if you learn something new and have fun while doing so, all the better.

  2. Mumzy on April 24, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Hello to you, darling! ^_^
    I’m so glad you got this article written, and the timing is perfect! Yesterday was both St George’s Day (Patron Saint of England) AND William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday – so the Henry V monologue video link being the first listed was very appropriate!

    I think art does have an important role in life, whether it’s literature, music, painting, sculpture, performance, dance – all art forms – because the Arts have power to touch us emotionally; to be the catalyst that moves thinking into action; teaches us different perspectives, and allows us freedom to play and enjoy life. Shakespeare’s work, despite being centuries old, still moves people (from all over the world; his texts being so accessible) to think, feel, laugh and cry.

    Good teachers do make a difference, and sharing wisdom and enthusiasm for favourite topics/interests/hobbies seems such a simple thing, but it sets the right example to others who are then inspired to be pro-active with their interests. It’s a chain reaction that spreads positivity and optimism far and wide… as it should be. Tom Hiddleston being a Shakespeare fanboy is a great example of this. He has a passion (a clichéd term, but certainly apt in this case) for Shakespeare, to which Tom offers the text new life every time he recites it. Fans respond to that, and are compelled by a curiosity toward Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets. I think Tom would be over-the-moon if he knew how many of his fans (many of which on the Hiddlestoners Facebook group were posting photos of Shakespeare books they’ve found and bought to enjoy reading, and how many more were liking and talking about these posts.

    I have more to say on the subject but I don’t have time to write it down at the moment. But I must mention that I love your sentence: “How can you not love someone who treats poetry with a care so tender it might rival a lover’s touch?” – this gave me goosebumps; it’s beautiful and very true!

    • Elena Atudosiei on April 24, 2014 at 8:02 pm

      I caught a cold while I was away and couldn’t write much for a couple of days. I tried to post it yesterday, but I finished it too late. But I’m glad the article’s finally here, that I managed to keep my promise. I’m afraid I also must make this message much shorter than I would like. In only a couple of words, I love the way you speak about art. Thank you!

  3. Mihaela on May 28, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    First of all, let me congratulate you for this beautiful article.You write from the heart and it shows. Secondly, I’ve been twisting my fingers for the past month trying to figure out a sensible answer for a puzzling question. Shakespeare has been in my life from a very early age, thanks to a local TV station from my town that kept replaying “Shakespeare: The Animated Tales”(this one being my favorite ). Also, I’ve watched some movie adaptations like “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” with Callista Flockhart and Christian Bale(which coincidentally aired on TV a day before you published this article) and many others which I enjoyed. I even stayed for almost four hours in front of the television (including commercials) watching Kenneth Brannagh in “Hamlet” simply because he played in “Harry Potter” and I had a crazy obsession for British culture thanks to “Blackadder”. And even though my main attraction wasn’t Shakespeare, I still enjoyed his work very much. Later on, when I went to university, a certain teacher – which you may know as Mrs. Popescu – taught a most fascinating course about Shakespeare which I enjoyed very much, so much in fact that it became my favorite course that semester. So by the time Tom entered into my life I was already hooked on Shakespeare. Needless to say, the fact that he likes it so much make him more appealing, but if I were to enter a competition with him about Shakespeare I would definitely lose because I don’t know his work inside out and I certainly can’t quote too many lines, I might remember something if I sing the Shakespeare song from “Horrible Histories” but other than that I’m a blank page. But I’m digressing a lot now. “Shakespeare Tom” is nerdy and passionate and I definitely like that, simply because he loves literature, which means it’s about a lot of emotions that Shakespeare portrayed in a very unique way, and we still relate to those plays/poems even to this day. What I find amazing about a Shakespeare play is that I understand the emotion without understanding the words. Tom is an actor and his job is to approach every human emotion possible and he’s not the first actor that loves Shakespeare, but he isn’t snobbish about it and he enjoys it so much that you almost get the feeling that he’s sharing a part of his soul to you. As you said he is a great role model because of the way he is and the way he approaches life and the fact that he enjoys Shakespeare so much sets him aside from the actors who do Shakespeare just so they can be taken seriously. He just really likes it and so far, the roles he’s done he’s mastered them brilliantly and thanks to him I discovered other Shakespeare plays that I didn’t know about. So I guess I also like “Shakespeare Tom” because he teaches me new things about Shakespeare with a certain charm and wittiness that make him the wonderful gentleman that he is.

    • Elena Atudosiei on June 6, 2014 at 5:19 pm

      Sorry for the very late reply, Mihaela! I didn’t even realize when the days went by 🙁 I was blown away by your comment, I love reading long messages, learning more about the thoughts of the one who wrote it. And they make me want to write more. I look forward to have that coffee with you and Vlad, we have a lot to talk about.

  4. why fans love tom hiddleston | eLitere on December 7, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    […] insanely smart and we love that in both men and women. Tom loves Shakespeare and we love him for that; here’s a tip: when you don’t know what to say, quote Shakespeare. He […]

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