Historically, man has had the need to frighten or amaze others and the mask is a good solution. In ancient Greece, due to the large size of the theater, the masks helped to better see the "face" of the characters and amplify the voices of the actors.
In certain rituals of the Middle Ages, the people wore masks to represent the ghosts of death, hell or demons. At the carnival (celebration of religious origin) the use of masks was to celebrate good harvests, to ask the fertility of the land or the prosperity of the community.
In this celebration of life, mixed with humor, born in the s. XVI Italian comic drama about the Commedia dell'arte, a theatrical demonstrations more importarts the story.
Unlike Japanese or Chinese masks for example, the comedy not express feelings very marked, but is the actor that gives the expressiveness and every possible through pantomime, acrobatics or voice.
Currently the mask part of playfulness or transgression, is used still in the theater or even in rituals.