Thomas Barnard, writer


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The Predicament of Dr. Lopez



Synopsis:  The Earl of Essex wants to make Francis Bacon Attorney-General.  But Bacon has spoken against a tax the Queen needs to protect England against another possible invasion from Spain.  So, he is not her first choice.  Essex, in anger, takes out his rage against the Queen's Jewish Portuguese physician who, having been used by everyone to gain information of Spain, is accused of trying to poison the Queen.  Shakespeare, who meets the physician at an entertainment of Southampton, observes and formulates some of this experience in his play, The Merchant of Venice.


Chicago Dramatists critique (2003):  "You see you have this juicy, meaty story here ― climbers, seekers after office, wastrel sons and libertines, actors, spies, torture, intrigues ― and it really is, at its core, a very cool thing to read and it would be a lot of fun to watch onstage."