This is from the lyrics "The Edge of Dawn" from Fire Emblem Three Houses:

Yet still I hide

Behind this mask that I have become

My blackened heart

Scorched by flames of a force I can't run from


I am not sure if this 'complex' metaphor is something that's even allowed and if it's good style. There's three metaphor here, which means it's more than a metaphor within a metaphor.

The first metaphor is mask, which is inside of "I hide inside of the mask" and then it's followed up by "I have become the mask", the mask is the persona shown I guess, then there's the metaphor of hiding behind it, and followed up with the metaphor of having become the mask. It's all very convoluted and confusing. I've read a lot of poems from great authors, and I can't think of a similar pattern.

However, my question is whether this is also an oxymoron, because there is the contradiction, I am a mask and I also hide behind the mask as if I was wearing it.

  • 2
    It's creative writing, everything is allowed. Is it good writing? Well, it's cliched, but it's not poor English. It's also lyrics. Lyrics have a different flow from prose (and even from poetry). Skipping around an idea helps to cement it in the listener's mind. – Cyn says make Monica whole Aug 3 '19 at 6:38
  • In this Stack, we focus on our own writing. Already published works, if you have questions about them, belong in literature.SE (or perhaps music.SE? I don't know if they do lyrics). – April Salutes Monica C. Aug 5 '19 at 13:05

I don't think it is an oxymoron, because the person is talking about two "different" entities. His true self which hides behind the mask. And his day-to-day self which probably has worn the mask so long that he became accustomed to it, and he became the mask.

In general there are obviously no things that are not allowed, especially in lyrics/poetry. But even if there were, this construction seems pretty normal and widespread to me. Talking in methapors about masks in reference to your personality/behaviour is a long used tradition.

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