In the present essay I contest the prevailing view, promulgated by critics like Jonas Barish and Laura Levine, that early modern antitheatricalism is intrinsically irrational. By carefully parsing the antitheatricalists' claims and clarifying their connections to Protestant theology, humoral theory, faculty psychology, and early modern epidemiology, I assert the basic integrity of antitheatrical thought. While these writings might strike us as overwrought and extreme, they are neither illogical nor absurd. When read with generosity and care, antitheatrical discourse can increase our appreciation of the moral and ethical quandaries playacting created in early modern England and can advance our understanding of the operation, influence, and significance of the professional stage.
Lehnhof, Kent R.
"Antitheatricality and Irrationality: An Alternative View,"
Criticism: Vol. 58
, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/criticism/vol58/iss2/4