Definition of morality play in English:

morality play

Pronunciation /məˈrælədi/


  • A kind of drama with personified abstract qualities as the main characters and presenting a lesson about good conduct and character, popular in the 15th and early 16th centuries.

    ‘As we approach the end of scene three of the morality play, two heroic character types have emerged: the victim and the judge.’
    • ‘Instead, we are given a medieval morality play where each character is a virtue or vice and stays that way throughout.’
    • ‘One deliberate omission involves the vestiges of the medieval morality play that remained in Marlowe's 16 th-century retelling.’
    • ‘So much, in fact, that this play within the idea of the morality play is brimming with moral lessons.’
    • ‘In many ways, the film is a morality play, but it is equally valid as a thriller or a character study.’
    • ‘Taken as such, both films are examples of the morality play - the narrative form in which conflicts between allegorical depictions of good and evil leave plenty of room for moral lessons to be drawn.’
    • ‘For centuries King Lear was read as a morality play, hammering home Christian ideals of divine justice - that things always work out for those who are good, and the bad will always get their comeuppance.’
    • ‘They create a morality play in which good battled evil.’
    • ‘As a morality play examining the extremes of good and evil in all of us, the film sports unquestionable potential.’
    • ‘It's a great example - almost a morality play - of one of the key flaws in the president's leadership.’