Rhinoceros and Other Plays

Front Cover
Grove Press, 1960 - Drama - 141 pages
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

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About the author (1960)

Eugene Ionesco, born in Romania in 1912, is known as the father of the theater of the absurd. He grew up in France and Romania, settling in France in 1939. His first play, The Bald Soprano, satirized the deadliness of life frozen in meaningless formalities. Some of his other important plays include The Lesson, The Chairs, Rhinoceros, and Hunger and Thirst. His novel Le Solitaire was the basis for the 1971 film La Vase in which Ionesco played the lead. Eugene Ionesco was elected to the Academie Francaise in 1970. He died in 1994.

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