Morality plays (15th-16th c.): a type of theatrical allegory where the characters, in the form of personified moral attributes, must validate the virtues of Godly life by prompting the protagonist to choose such life over evil. These plays, most popular in 15th and 16th century Europe, helped move European theater from being religiously based to secularly based. However, the plays still offered moral instruction and together with mystery plays and miracle plays constituted the theater of the Middle Ages. Examples of morality plays include the French Condemnation des banquets by Nicolas de Chesnaye and the English The Castle of Perseverance and Everyman, which is today considered the best of the morality plays.
Last updated: 07-30-2005 16:40:54