“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person.
Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” Oscar Wilde.
Could it be, as Wilde suggests, that the mask
endows the speaker with a cover behind which
he can be truly himself? Hidden from the scrutiny
of prying eyes, can he be the person of his dreams,
an accomplished con-artist, a coat of many colours?
How many of us would like to don a domino
to suit different occasions? All of us, I suspect.
But to refute Wilde’s assertion, what made him
think that the mask-wearer is the one who tells
the truth? I rather believe the opposite is true,
that the mask conceals, not reveals, the nature
of the wearer. Who, really, lies behind the mask?