MORALITY

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MORALITY ; a sort of allegorical play, so termed because it consisted of moral discourses in praise of virtue and condemnation of vice. It succeeded the Mysteries, (q. v.) The dialogues were carried on by such characters as Good Doctrine, Charity, Faith, Prudence, Discretion, Death, &c, whose discourses were of a serious cast; while the province of making merriment for the spectators descended from the Devil in the Mysteiy to the Vice or Iniquity of the Morality, who asually personified some bad quality, and whose successor we find in the clown or fool of the regular English drama. (See Franco., Literature of, division Drama.) Moralities were occasionally exhibited as late as the reign of Henry VIII, and, after various modifications, assumed the form of the Mask (q. v.), which became a favorite entertainment at the court of Elizabeth and her successor. (See Drama.)