By 1820, Edmund Kean is the most admired Shakespearan actor. But if his art is peerless, his free lifestyle is ill thought of, particularly by the high society. Kean has fallen passionately in love with Countess Elena de Koefeld, the wife of the ambassador of Denmark. Elena loves him too but hesitates to give up her rank in society and follow Kean. On the other hand, Anna, a rich heiress who refuses to marry Lord Mewill, the husband chosen by her parents, confesses her love for Kean and decides to become an actress like him... The aristocrats, outraged by Edmund's profligate ways, decide to boycott his performances and his career is broken. Kean does not recover from such a blow and, on a stormy night, dies in Elena's arms.