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In Rhinoceros, as in his earlier plays, Ionesco startles audiences with a world that invariably erupts in explosive laughter and nightmare anxiety. A rhinoceros suddenly appears in a small town, tramping through its peaceful streets. Soon there are two, then three, until the “movement” is universal: a transformation of average citizens into beasts, as they learn to move with the times. Finally, only one man remains. “I’m the last man left, and I’m staying that way until the end. I’m not capitulating!”
Rhinoceros is a commentary on the absurdity of the human condition made tolerable only by self-delusion. It shows us the struggle of the individual to maintain integrity and identity alone in a world where all others have succumbed to the “beauty” of brute force, natural energy, and mindlessness.
Includes Rhinoceros, The Leader, The Future Is in Eggs or It Takes All Sorts to Make a World
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Good for students to assist in fully comprehending the original French.
I had the opertunity to see this play performed at my summer camp and it was hilariously wonderful!!!
Ionesco's absurd writing style and use of everyday language in odd ways accents this play's theme of non-conformity. 'Rhinoceros' is a story about two guys whose society is gradually being converted into animals. Though the two main characters criticize the behavior of their society and try to avoid being converted, one starts to cave. The other struggles to remain unaffected, and Ionesco depicts this struggle with his classic extreme, bombastic craziness. The play is clearly a reference to the lack of thought people put into their actions today; Ionesco's writing sometimes has a biting sarcasm to it that will definitely make you laugh if you catch it. I found the play both entertaining and meaningful.