I have often pondered on these multiple personalities and wondered what is real and what is not. Interestingly enough the answer is only just now, as I write, clear. The work persona is as conscientious as a person is able to be because we want and need our jobs. The funny persona (if we have one) is as funny as we are able because who wants to be unfunny?
Our situation specific personas are real because they are limited by what is really there, who we really are. These personas are not exactly masks but more like caricatures.
All of this ran through my mind when the title quote (from Oscar Wilde) was drawn to my attention. Do these personas reflect a person's truth or do they function as a mask of sorts?
The quote says "Give him a mask..." does a mask have to be provided by a third party in order to reveal truth? Is it possible for an individual to create their own mask at all? What kind of masks are there? and
Is it true that we tell our truths more fully when we are masked?
I only have the most basic of ideas in possible answer to these questions and I would love for you to throw in your thoughts so please do that....
What I will say is that stage personas as adopted by actors or musicians sometimes reveal a more complete picture of the person than their everyday personality which is reserved and muted. The stage provides the mask of an adopted character maybe? which i would best express in an imaginary statement "I can be who I am because everyone thinks I am being somebody else"
Following the same example, the actor doesnt create their own mask, we might think they do, but in fact we confer it on them when we become audience and permit them to experiment with truth.
Alcohol tends to make people tell their truths but it couldnt be called a mask. Alcohol is more like an eraser that converts the caricature to a true to life image (the metaphor is falling apart but you get it, right?)
If we allow our religion, our prophets and our holy books to justify bigotry or a desires to repress others is that a mask? Do we use religion to tell the ugly truths we could not otherwise utter about ourselves?
Tell me what you think.