Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Mask, Masque, a covering for the face with orifices before the eyes, nostrils, and mouth. The masks of Greek and Roman drama had hair attached to them, and it is thought that they generally covered the whole of the head and neck. Characters which did not present some special peculiarity of face were represented by typical masks, the types being numerous. The masks used in masquerades are generally screens which cover the upper part of the face down to the mouth or to the tip of the nose, with openings before the eyes. The word mask used to be applied to a masked revel or masquerade, in which those who took part were disguised by masks. In the form masque (formerly also mask), the term denoted a pageant of a dramatic character generally based on allegorical or mythological subjects. Such pageants were in vogue during the Kith and the early part of the 17th centuries, and they developed into musical dramas. Ben Jonson and Milton composed masques.