Morality play, form of drama popular at the end of the Middle Ages, from about the 14th to the 16th century. It was intended to instruct its audience on the eternal struggle between good and evil for human souls. The characters were personifications of virtues and vices. The most noted English example is Everyman (from the late 15th century), which is still sometimes performed. Morality plays grew out of earlier religious pageants and were an important step in the secularization of drama.