“With outrageous comedy” this classic of Absurdist drama “attacks the most serious subjects: blind conformity and totalitarianism, despair and death” (The New York Times).
In Rhinoceros, as in his other plays, Eugene 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. This is not an invasion of wild animals, but a transformation of average citizens into beasts, as they learn to move with the times. As the curtain comes down, only one desperate man remains.
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 in a world where all others have succumbed to the “beauty” of brute force and mindlessness.