Moral

Moral

A moral (from Latin morālis) is a message conveyed or a lesson to be learned from a story or event. The moral may be left to the hearer, reader or viewer to determine for themselves, or may be explicitly encapsulated in a maxim. As an example of the latter, at the end of Aesop's fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, in which the plodding and determined tortoise wins a race against the much-faster yet extremely arrogant hare, the stated moral is "slow and steady wins the race". However, other morals can often be taken from the story itself; for instance, that "arrogance or overconfidence in one's abilities may lead to failure or the loss of an event, race, or contest". The use of stock characters is a means of conveying the moral of the story by eliminating complexity of personality and so spelling out the issues arising in the interplay between the characters, enables the writer to generate a clear message. With more rounded characters, such as those typically found in Shakespeare's plays, the moral may be more nuanced but no less present, and the writer may point it up in other ways (see, for example, the Prologue to Romeo and Juliet).

Throughout the history of recorded literature, the majority of fictional writing has served not only to entertain but also to instruct, inform or improve their audiences or readership. In classical drama, for example, the role of the chorus was to comment on the proceedings and draw out a message for the audience to take away with them; while the novels of Charles Dickens are a vehicle for morals regarding the social and economic system of Victorian Britain.

Morals have typically been more obvious in children's literature, sometimes even being introduced with the phrase: "The moral of the story is …". Such explicit techniques have grown increasingly out of fashion in modern storytelling, and are now usually only included for ironic purposes.

Some examples are: "Better to be safe than sorry", "The evil deserves no aid", "Be friends with whom you don't like", "Don't judge people by the way they look", "Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me", "Slow and steady wins the race", "Once started down the dark path, forever will it hold your destiny", and "Your overconfidence is your weakness".

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  • Moral — Moral …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • moral — moral, ale, aux [ mɔral, o ] adj. et n. m. • 1270; n. m. 1212; lat. moralis, de mores « mœurs » I ♦ Adj. 1 ♦ Qui concerne les mœurs, les habitudes et surtout les règles de conduite admises et pratiquées dans une société. Conscience morale. Sens… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Moral — bezeichnet zumeist die faktischen Handlungsmuster, konventionen, regeln oder prinzipien bestimmter Individuen, Gruppen oder Kulturen. So verstanden, sind die Ausdrücke Moral, Ethos oder Sitte weitgehend gleichbedeutend und werden beschreibend… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Moral — Mor al, a. [F., fr. It. moralis, fr. mos, moris, manner, custom, habit, way of life, conduct.] 1. Relating to duty or obligation; pertaining to those intentions and actions of which right and wrong, virtue and vice, are predicated, or to the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • moral — moral, ale (mo ral, ra l ) adj. 1°   Qui concerne les moeurs. Préceptes moraux. Réflexions morales. Les oeuvres morales de Plutarque. Sens, instinct moral.    Contes moraux, contes où l auteur a l intention de faire ressortir une leçon de morale …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • moral — adj Moral, ethical, virtuous, righteous, noble are comparable when they mean conforming to a standard of what is right and good. Moral is the most comprehensive term of the group; in all of its pertinent senses it implies a relationship to… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • moral — MORÁL, Ă, morali, e, adj., s.n. I. adj. 1. Care aparţine moralei, conduitei admise şi practicate într o societate, care se referă la morală; etic; care este conform cu morala; cinstit, bun; moralicesc. ♦ Care conţine o învăţătură; moralizator. 2 …   Dicționar Român

  • moral — mòrāl m <G morála> DEFINICIJA 1. shvaćanje odnosa prema dobru i zlu u najširem smislu; ukupnost nepisanih društvenih načela, normi, ideala, običaja o ponašanju i odnosima među ljudima koji se nameću savjesti pojedinca i zajednice, u skladu… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • moral — adjetivo 1. De las costumbres o formas de comportamiento humanas: valor moral, reglas morales, superioridad moral. 2. Que no se funda en pruebas objetivas, sino en la conciencia de cada individuo: Tenías la obligación moral de pagar. 3.… …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • moral — [môr′əl, mär′əl; ] for n.4 [, mə ral′] adj. [ME < L moralis, of manners or customs < mos (gen. moris), pl. mores, manners, morals (see MOOD1): used by CICERO2 as transl. of Gr ēthikos] 1. relating to, dealing with, or capable of making the… …   English World dictionary

  • moral — I adjective aboveboard, bene moratus, bound by duty, commendable, conscientious, correct, creditable, decent, deserving, duteous, dutiful, estimable, ethical, exemplary, good, high minded, high principled, honest, honestus, honorable, idealistic …   Law dictionary


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