“All the world’s a stage,” penned Shakespeare, though we arguably have the ancient Greeks to thank for theatre as we know and enjoy it today.
No two symbols stand out in the genre quite like the famous contrasting masks representing the two notable sides of theatre and life: comedy and tragedy.
Named for the two Greek muses, Thalia was the muse of comedy (hence the laughing mask) and Melpomene was the muse of tragedy (the weeping face).
Thespians and lovers of the stage aren’t the only ones inclined to adapt this duo, or one of the pair, to eternal ink form; many find poignant significance in the universal expressions of sadness and joy, and the often painful knowledge that there cannot be one without the other. Interlocking or apart, comedy & tragedy can be found in many exquisite tattoo designs, ranging in small to suitably theatrical scales. While some prefer dramatic black and white shading for the masks, they can also be inked in royal, stage-worthy colors.
Whether you find yourself more aligned with one side or the other, or likewise seek to strike a balance between the two, there’s no denying the cyclical sensation of pain and pleasure that make up the human existence. And what better way to celebrate Thalia and Melpomene than wearing their unforgettable expressions on your skin?