Why was theater vilified? Why did some people in Elizabethan England feel that the theater was a bad thing?
Theatre is a form of expression, and allows for citizens to express their views about politics and society. In a way its freedom of speech and can be used as protest. The Queen and other of noble power might feel that the theatre will go against them and show the citizens a whole new light about their leaders.
There were wandering players in England by the fifteenth century, however, if these actors had no other profession, they were considered vagrants and rogues. Although Queen Elizabeth and her nobles sanctioned the growth of the theatre, the merchant class viewed the theatre with distrust. Many believed that it took people away from their jobs and thus interfered with productive pursuits. They felt that plays encouraged immorality, and that the theatre was merely a front for more undesirable activities. The powerful town councils, largely composed of middle-class tradesman, were for the most part opposed to professional theatrical activities of any kind. The strong Puritan element in England at the time surely contributed to this as well.