Masks In Their Old And New Roles

Masks are anything but a recent invention. Ancient theatre was greatly dependent on them. The now famous image of two masks, one joyful and the other sorrowful, is linked with the classical Greek theatre, back in the times of playwrights like Sophocles and Euripides. In those times, masks were used to differentiate the good from the evil, the hero from the villain. However, as time went on, masks became decreasingly popular on stage. Later, playwrights such as Brecht and Cocteau did their bit to re-introduce the mask. Yet, masks had by now moved away from the world of performances and had begun its journey into popular culture.

Today, masks are taking on an entirely different character. Nowadays, they are used entirely for entertainment. Birthday parties for young children are incomplete without the whistles, the party hats, and the many kinds of masks. And even adults are not left far behind with respect to masks. People wear masks at costume parties, particularly around Halloween, and move around pretending to be someone they are not. Masks provide us the opportunity to disguise ourselves for a while. Even though we are aware that we will have to go back to being ourselves the moment the party is over, there is great joy in taking on a different identity.

Perhaps that is the reason why Halloween has become one of the most popular events in the calendar year with respect to adults. People today are eager to turn heads at the next Halloween party. As a result, they start planning their gory and gruesome costumes months before the big day. Costume shops start stocking the outfits from even before that. And which costumes seem to be the most popular? Scary clowns, vampires, and zombies top the list.

Of course, costumes will provide only part of the Halloween look. One cannot forget about the masks. These days, the emphasis is on finding a realistic Halloween mask — quite a simple task nowadays. This is because the masks of today depend on silicon and other such materials. As a result today’s silicon Halloween masks seem a lot less fake. For instance, the zombie Halloween masks that are available these days are definitely more terrifying. The flesh appears real, and the fake blood looks much less fake. Masks have come a long way since their days on the stage. And their popularity certainly has not waned.

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