What is this mask and where does it come from?

 The mask of Guy Fawkes

The real Guy Fawkes was the most public member of a plot to kill King James I in 1605 by blowing up England's House of Parliament. The failed assassination attempt became known as the "Gunpowder Plot," which is still celebrated in England with bonfires and fireworks. Later, Mr. Fawkes became romanticized as a figure fighting against government tyranny.


Detail of Guido (Guy) Fawkes and fellow
co-conspirators in a 17th Century illustration by
Crispijn van de Passe the Elder

The mask, a rough likeness of Mr. Fawkes, was created over 400 years later for the movie V for Vendetta, based on a comic book series by Alan Moore and David Lloyd, who imagined an anarchist character using a Fawkes mask in a dystopian future, fighting government fascism and tyranny.


 The cover of the graphic novel 
V for Vendetta

The group Anonymous used the mask in a protest against Scientology in 2008. Said Mr. Lloyd, the image's creator:
"The Guy Fawkes mask has now become a common brand and a convenient placard to use in protest against tyranny - and I'm happy with people using it, it seems quite unique, an icon of popular culture being used this way... My feeling is the Anonymous group needed an all-purpose image to hide their identity and also symbolise that they stand for individualism - V for Vendetta is a story about one person against the system."
Ironically, the image for Mr. Fawkes is based on vintage illustrations of him - none of which are likely based on his real face.

Read more: V for Vendetta masks: Who's behind them?

- Gunpowder Plot conspirators illustration, Wikipedia>>
- The film "V for Vendetta" at IMDB>>

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