a failed actor turned playwright, whose tragedies, marked by extravagance and passion, were long popular. They include Nero (1675), Sophonisba and Gloriana (1676), all in heroics; and his best‐known tragedy, The Rival Queens (1677), in blank verse based on the Cassandre of La Calprenède. He collaborated with Dryden in Oedipus (1679) and The Duke of Guise (1682). He lost his reason, and was confined to Bedlam 1684–9. See Heroic Drama.