A moral (from Latin morālis) is a message that is 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. A moral is a lesson in a story or in real life.

Finding morals

As an example of an explicit maxim, at the end of Aesop's fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, in which the plodding and determined tortoise won 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 depicting 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 out in other ways (see, for example, the Prologue to Romeo and Juliet).

Other Languages
български: Поука
español: Moraleja
euskara: Erakutsi
한국어: 교훈
हिन्दी: सीख
Bahasa Indonesia: Akhlak
עברית: מוסר השכל
Kiswahili: Adili (fasihi)
македонски: Наравоучение
português: Moral (literatura)
slovenčina: Epimýtia
svenska: Karaktär