Well, a friend and I were talking about masquerades and being a big fan of the Phantom of the Opera she got off on the metaphors for masquerades in stories, books, films, tv shows and anywhere else they sometimes can make an appearance.
I was thinking about it, and it’s interesting concept that most use masquerades as a metaphor of hidden danger, secret identity, and mystery.
It’s a way to let yourself go, so to speak, to become something else that your not. Of course it an be noted that a similar effect of this same type of metaphor is placed on the Halloween holiday as well.
I’m a firm believer that it’s that mystery, the uncertainty and that almost powerful edge you feel during a masquerade (or Halloween party for that matter) that draws people in.
It’s that idea that you can be, and do almost anything you want in those few hours of the party or ball, and it’s likely nobody will ever know. (That is unless of course you have Sherlock Holmes on your trail, but I’ll leave that for another post.)
One aspect of the masquerade that I’ve always been personally drawn too is the masks. Their always so elegant and visual, with so much detail that it’s not wonder you rarely notice whose behind the mask. With such precision and handiwork taken to create those stunning creations, it just adds to the mystery.
I also want to take note on what the word means: (Although, it has many, many meanings it would appear.)
- A costume party at which masks are worn; a masked ball. Also called masque.
- A costume for such a party or ball.
- a.A disguise or false outward show; a pretense: a masquerade of humility.
- An involved scheme; a charade.
intr.v. mas.quer.ad.ed, mas.quer.ad.ing, mas.quer.ades
- To wear a mask or disguise, as at a masquerade: She masqueraded as a shepherd.
- To go about as if in disguise; have or put on a deceptive appearance: The stowaway masqueraded as a crew member.
[French: mascarade, from Italian mascarata, variant of mascherata from Old Italian, maschera, mask; see mask.]
It’s interesting to me, how one word (and this is with almost every word as well) can have one meaning that is usually most associated with it.
Much like with masquerade, it’s normally more associated with being deceived, deception, and things not appearing as they should and/or would seem.
Which goes back of course, to the original reason for this posting. The metaphorical side of the word masquerade, and the reasoning behind it being due to the mystery and the hidden agendas that could be and/or carried out at the masquerade party.
It does make one wonder, if this is the reasoning why most would give sentences such as:
“The criminal’s masquerade was over, he wasn’t actually Mr. Bronx, the CEO of a respectable company. He is actually Mr. Sherwin, a con artist and known petty thief.”
In regards to the word ‘masquerade’? I think so, because most of the time, at least fifty percent of the time a masquerade is shown (at least in my experience that is,) something is about to go down that will blow the story, film, book, show or whatever other media is may be in, wide opened.
I suppose though, that’s just the beauty of such a multi-dimensional word and one that can mean something as graceful as an elegant party and also double as deception and treachery.
Another metaphor to be noted, and that could be used is how sometimes treachery and deception can be beautiful and deadly; before the truth comes out. Just like a masquerade can be elegant and a thing of beauty, but also hold that same deception and treachery behind it’s costumes and masks.
It is certainly a topic to get the creative mind working. 🙂
Until next time, my readers!