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Tate, Nahum

Tate, Nahum

Tate, Nahum, 1652-1715, English poet and dramatist, b. Dublin. He wrote several popular adaptations of Shakespeare, the most famous being his King Lear (1681), in which he omitted the part of the fool and had Cordelia survive to marry Edgar. With Dryden he wrote the second part of Absalom and Achitophel (1682). In 1692 he became poet laureate. His metrical version of the Psalms (1696), written with Nicholas Brady, is generally regarded as tedious and verbose. He was the target of an attack by Pope in The Dunciad.

See study by C. Spencer (1972).

(born 1652, Dublin, Ire.—died July 30, 1715, London, Eng.) Irish-English poet and playwright. After graduating from Trinity College, Dublin, Tate moved to London. Though he wrote plays of his own, he is best known for his adaptations of Elizabethan works, notably William Shakespeare's King Lear, with a happy ending, which was performed well into the 19th century. He wrote the libretto for Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas (1689?) and collaborated with Nicholas Brady in A New Version of the Psalms of David (1696). The best of his own poems is “Panacea: A Poem upon Tea” (1700). He became England's poet laureate in 1692.

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