Persona

“The Roman pantomime differed from (Etruscan/Greco-Roman) mime in two ways: its themes were usually loftier, and, unlike the mime actor, the pantomimus wore various masks, which identified his characters but deprived him of speech and of the use of facial expressions. Thus his art was primarily one of posture and gesture, in which hand movements were particularly expressive and important.

The pantomimus, dressed like a tragic actor in a cloak and long tunic, usually performed solo, accompanied by an orchestra that included cymbals and other rhythm instruments, flutes, pipes, and trumpets. The libretto of the piece was sung or recited by a chorus and was usually adapted from a well known tragedy. Both the music and the librettos of the pantomimes were considered to be of little artistic value. The talent and skill of the pantomimus himself were of supreme importance…”

(Taken from Encyclopaedia Britannica)

Carl Jung wrote of his own use of the word persona, which was the Latin word for such a mask, in The Relation between the Ego and the Unconscious (1928):

“The persona is a complicated system of relations between individual consciousness and society, fittingly enough a kind of mask, designed on the one hand to make a definite impression upon others, and, on the other, to conceal the true nature of the individual.”.

In the same year, Jung wrote in General Aspects of Dream Psychology:

“….the dream is the theatre where the dreamer is at once scene, actor, prompter, stage manager, author, audience, and critic.”.

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