Tom Hiddleston on Shakespeare: If you’re a fan of Loki’s character, it’s high time to know that the actor is a huge fan of the Bard. In fact, he’s actually making his fans care about Shakespeare a lot. Literature teachers everywhere should rejoice about this.
Hiddleston said that the two things he loves the most are tennis and Shakespeare. The actor in a 2013 Comic Con once stated, “I’m a terrible tennis player, but I do get to do lots of Shakespeare.”
Even if you’re not really familiar with characters from Shakespeare, we’re here to get you through with simple explanations. Let’s check out the ones that influenced the actor’s portrayal of Loki.
“Doing Shakespeare on stage makes me feel more alive. The precision of his writing, the complexity of his characters, demands every fibre of my body.”
— Tom Hiddleston #HappyBirthdayShakespeare
— Alexandra ❄️ (DieGrinsekatze) (@MischiefAndFun) April 23, 2021
Tom Hiddleston On Shakespeare’s Influence
Without Shakespeare, the world probably wouldn’t know Hiddleston as an actor. Don’t believe it? He said so himself.
“Shakespeare is the reason I became an actor,” Hiddleston once said as he expressed his love for the playwright.
It turns out that Hiddleston sees the unique character traits of Loki— from his mischief to ambition– through several tragic (or Byronic, if you will) heroes from the Bard’s plays.
“Look, Shakespeare has a fan base and Loki has a fan base. The level of scrutiny is heavy across the board. The pressure I put on myself is to be precise about the meaning of each particular moment. That’s my job.”
— Tom Hiddleston pic.twitter.com/pt9MQDMfB8
— Alex C Vick #TeamLoki (@alexcvick) January 10, 2021
Loki As Shakespeare’s Characters
Loki as a character is an illegitimate son who is manipulative, mischievous, ambitious and also broken-hearted.
Shakespeare’s play King Lear had a character named Edmund who was an illegitimate son. Hiddleston could relate largely to this character as the pain of being illegitimate is a shared frame of reference.
Hiddleston could also relate Loki to Shakespeare’s tragic hero Macbeth. In the play, Macbeth started out as the respected Thane of Cawdor but was later promoted to King. If you’re unfamiliar with the way Macbeth became King, it was after he murdered Duncan, the current King and the person he worked for.
Additionally, Loki’s manipulative tactics could be related to Iago from Othello. In Shakespeare’s play, Iago gaslighted and manipulated Othello so much that he drove him to kill the love of his life, Desdemona.
After discussing the character’s traits with the writer Kenneth Branagh, Loki came out to be an infusion of Shakespeare’s writings. Hiddleston said that all the characters were poured into a well which created the “cocktail of Loki”.
“As long as Shakespeare is still around, I’m happy,” said Tom Hiddleston on Shakespeare’s influence. And honestly, we love to see it. Because what would Hiddleston be without Shakespeare, and what would Loki be without Hiddleston?