STORY In 1660, with the return of Charles IIto the English throne, theater, the visual arts, science and sexualintercourse flourish. Thirteen years later, in the middle of politicaland economical problems, Charles II asks the return of his friend JohnWilmot, aka the second Earl of Rochester, from the exile to London. Johnis a morally corrupt, drunkard and sexually active cynical poet, andthe King asks him to prepare a play for the French ambassador to makehim pleased. John meets the aspirant actress Elizabeth Barry in theplayhouse and decides to make her a great star. He falls in love forher, and she becomes his mistress; during the presentation to theFrenchman, he falls in disgrace in the court. When he was thirty-threeyears old, he was dying of syphilis associated to alcoholism and heconverted to a religious man.