His face has become a symbol for resistance against oppression, a marker for those who demand accountability and in the minds of some – anarchy. In the modern day, the Guy Fawkes mask has been a way for people to anonymously stand against an entity.
Guy Fawkes Day is observed Wednesday in the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand. Also known as Bonfire Night, the holiday has been given special attention with such cultural items as the famous "Remember, Remember the Fifth of November" poem and the film and graphic novel "V for Vendetta." The date marks the anniversary of when a group of Catholic Englishmen attempted to blow up Parliament in response to the Protestant-led body enacting anti-Catholic laws.
"Catholic dissident Guy Fawkes and 12 co-conspirators spent months planning to blow up King James I of England during the opening of Parliament on Nov. 5, 1605," noted Jesse Greenspan in an entry on the History Channel's website.
"But their assassination attempt was foiled the night before when Fawkes was discovered lurking in a cellar below the House of Lords next to 36 barrels of gunpowder."
Many British citizens lit bonfires to celebrate the plot being foiled, a custom that continues to the present day among those observing the holiday.
There are those who argue that the current fascination with Fawkes and the usage of the Fawkes mask represent a distorted remembrance of the gunpowder plot.
Newton Key, a professor at Eastern Illinois University, believes that the current Guy Fawkes mask imagery ignores the central purpose for the infamous Gun Powder Plot.
"The Gun Powder plot was about one issue, restoring Catholic supremacy," said Key to CNN in an interview in 2011. "I can see why they like it, but it is mainly referencing the movie and not the actual plot."
James Sharpe, author of Remember, Remember: A Cultural History of Guy Fawkes Day, also told CNN that the modern popular cultural understanding of Fawkes ignores the integral religious aspect.
"What they were looking for was either Catholic supremacy or at least a government set up where Catholics have full toleration," said Sharpe.
"The fifth of November had anti-Catholic tinge well into the 19 century … Once the anti-Catholic sentiment went away, Guy Fawkes became the central figure."
Concerns over the anti-Catholic nature of Guy Fawkes Day have troubled many over the centuries including the United States of America's first president.
During the American Revolution, General George Washington discouraged his men from celebrating the Fifth of November, as bonfires were known to include the burning of the Pope in effigy.
In general orders on November 5, 1775, Washington denounced the "ridiculous and childish custom of burning the Effigy of the pope" and considered men who took part to be "void of common sense."
The modern, more secular understanding of the Fawkes legend and especially the mask popularly associated with the Fifth of November came in the 1980s.
It was then that the Alan Moore graphic novel "V for Vendetta" was first published, in which a man resisting a rightwing state in near future Great Britain donned the mask.
The "V for Vendetta" usage of the mask was revived with the release of the 2005 blockbuster film based off of the British graphic novel.
Soon after online hacker groups known as "hacktivist" organizations, began to use the mask as a symbol for their members, most notably the controversial entity Anonymous.
In an editorial for the British Broadcasting Corporation published in 2012, Moore noted the progression of usage for the mask central to the main character of his graphic novel.
"After that, it wasn't long before the character's enigmatic Time-Warner trademarked leer appeared masking the faces of Anonymous protesters barracking Scientologists halfway down Tottenham Court Road," observed Moore.
"Shortly thereafter it began manifesting at anti-globalisation demonstrations, anti-capitalist protests, concerted hacker-attacks upon those perceived as enabling state oppression, and finally on the front steps of St Paul's."