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Rhinoceros (play)

From Academic Kids

Rhinoceros is a play by Eugène Ionesco, written in the late 1950s. An example of the theatre of the absurd, the story concerns a town, the inhabitants of which turn into rhinoceroses. The central character, Berenger, a lazy drunkard, sees everyone around him turning into rhinoceroses. He ends up having to fight them all for the sake of mankind.

The play was initially written in French. All of the 17 characters, even secondary ones, have remarkably defined personalities.

The play is often read as addressing the possibility (or not) of resisting the urge to conform, and would appear to be a response to the sudden upsurge of Fascism and Nazism that occurred two decades previously.

Ionesco later adapted his play into a screenplay for a 1973 film (also called Rhinoceros) directed by Tom O'Horgan and starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder.

Trivia

The play, in the style of Alfred Hitchcock makes reference to Ionesco and his works.

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