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Tom Hiddleston (Photo: Getty Images)

On the eve of the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare‘s death two top British actors, Tom Hiddleston and Ralph Fiennes, have expressed their deep admiration for the playwright.

“I think he’s a genius,” says Hiddleston. “He had an ability to encapsulate the human condition in breathtaking and accessible poetry.”

“Shakespeare articulates who we are better than anyone else,” says Ralph Fiennes who also points out that he wanted to become an actor because of Shakespeare.

When it comes to memorable lines in the Bard’s plays Tom Hiddleston recites, “To thine own self be true. And it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man,” from Hamlet. He also has a fondness for “Reputation, reputation, reputation!” found in Othello.

In his final thoughts on Shakespeare Tom Hiddleston says: “I’m always astounded at the depth and capacity for exploration in his writing.”

To hear more comments on Shakespeare from these two British actors check out the videos below.

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By Tom Brook