Nahum Tate

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Tate, Nahum

(nā`həm), 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).

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2) See James Black's introduction to his edition of Nahum Tate, The History of King Lear (London: Arnold, 1975); all references to Tate's Lear are from this edition.
Another interesting example of the connection in contemporary literature between James II and Aeneas can be found in a 1687 poem by none other than Nahum Tate, celebrating the embassy sent by dames to establish formal diplomatic relations with the Vatican.
All dealt well with the lively if distinctly sub-Shakespearean text of Nahum Tate.
These days, we rarely see a drastically rewritten Shakespeare play on the stage; we don't have the bravado of Nahum Tate, who rewrote King Lear to include the less than immortal lines, "Cordelia then shall be a Queen, mark that: / Cordelia shall be Queen; Winds catch the Sound / And bear it on your rosie Wings to Heav'n.
A real favourite among schoolchildren, this has been one of the most important hymns for English-speaking Protestants ever since Irishman Nahum Tate wrote the words in 1700.
The list of poets laureate (with dates of tenure) follows: John Dryden (1668-89), Thomas Shadwell (1689-92), Nahum Tate (1692-1715), Nicholas Rowe (1715-18), Laurence Eusden (1718-30), Colley Cibber (1730-57), William Whitehead (1757-85), Thomas Warton (1785-90), Henry James Pye (1790-1813), Robert Southey (1813-43), William Wordsworth (1843-50), Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1850-92), Alfred Austin (1896-1913), Robert Bridges (1913-30), John Masefield (1930-67), C.
He succeeded Nahum Tate as poet laureate in 1715 and was also the foremost 18th-century English tragic dramatist, doing much to assist the rise of domestic tragedy (in which the protagonists were middle class rather than aristocratic).
The poets and composers commissioned to write the Odes were drawn from the most celebrated of the period, and included (among the writers) John Oldham, Nahum Tate, Thomas D'Urfey, and Thomas Shadwell, and (among the musicians) Jeremiah Clarke, Henry and Daniel Purcell, and John Blow.