The morality play is a genre of medieval and early Tudor theatrical entertainment. In their own time, these plays were known as interludes, a broader term for dramas with or without a moral. Morality plays are a type of allegory in which the protagonist is met by personifications of various moral attributes who try to prompt them to choose a good life over one of evil. The plays were most popular in Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries. Having grown out of the religiously based mystery plays of the Middle Ages, they represented a shift towards a more secular base for European theatre. Hildegard von Bingen's Ordo Virtutum (English: "Order of the Virtues") composed c. 1151, is the earliest known morality play by more than a century, and the only Medieval musical drama to survive with an attribution for both the text and the music.
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