Rhinoceros And Existentialism Essay

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Rhinoceros, written 1958, and published 1959 is one of Ionesco’s most popularized plays. It opens on a usual Sunday in a town, where abruptly a rhinoceros is sighted twice by the townspeople. Initially some wonderment is expressed about the strangeness of this happening, but eventually a great deal of discussion is devoted to whether the two sightings were of the same rhino or of two different ones, and whether the rhino(s) belonged to the African or Asian species. Soon it becomes evident that people are being metamorphosed into rhinos unexplainably. At the conclusion of the play all human beings yield to rhinoceritic, while the protagonist Berenger remains the solitary human.
Despite a number of characteristics representative of the theatre
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Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionesco is apt for most definitions of the theatre of absurd because: this play is about being and existence. Berenger being the “last man” resists against a chaotic universe which at last becomes absurd and nonsensical; it is concerned with language, communication and is humorous. There is a humorous discussion by a logician who is not very logistical. Many characters cannot communicate and understand each other throughout the play and as result of that most of the characters turn into or join the rhinos; it is humorous but at the same time it is a tragic text and carries serious social undertones.
Rhinoceros is a comment on fascism and how some people succumb to the idea and message as “everyone else does”; it has absurd elements such as a herd of rhinos running past in a small, provincial French town. The inhabitants are less concerned about the sudden
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Berenger’s struggles with life reflect those of Ionesco himself. He much more than any other character see the reality of life and he drinks to escape the vision of it. In the first scene, Berenger seems disconnected from the events happening around him. He pays little attention to the first rhino and he gives an impression of being generally disconnected and disinterested with life. He tells his friend Jean that “life is a dream” and he later says, “sometimes I wonder if I exist myself”. Such existentialist concerns reflect Ionesco’s interest in the philosophical problems of his own

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