Rhinoceros and Other Plays
Author: Eugène Ionesco, Derek Prouse
Publisher: Grove Press
Release Date: January 11, 1994
In Rhinoceros, as in his early plays, Ionesco startles audiences with a world that invariably erupts in explosive laughter and nightmare anxiety. A rhinoceros suddely apears 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.