Rhinoceros Play – Acts | Summary | Analysis | Characters

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(Last Updated On: December 4, 2022)

Rhinoceros (French: Rhinocéros) is a play by Eugène Ionesco which was written in 1959. The play was included in the study of the post-war avant-garde drama, Theater of the Absurd, though scholars also rejected the label as very explanatory.

In a tiny town square, Jean, a smart, efficient young guy, meets Berenger, a semi-alcoholic and wholly indifferent buddy. The main idea of Rhinoceros is that one must devote oneself to a worthwhile purpose in order to give life meaning. This is illustrated by Berenger’s transition from an indifferent, alcoholic, and depressed man into the savior of mankind.

A drunken young guy who falls in love with one of his coworkers discovers that everyone around him, including his haughty and arrogant best buddy, is turning into a rhinoceros. The narrative of a French village overrun by rhinoceroses is told in Eugene Ionesco’s original absurdist drama, Rhinoceros.

During the three sequences of the Rhinoceros play, the inhabitants of a small, provincial French town transformed the rhinoceros; Ultimately the only man who does not sacrifice himself to this mass conversion is the central character, Berenger, a jerk-man who first criticized the play for his drinking, restlessness and short life, and later with a rush for his growing irony and obsession.

To Ionesco’s credit, he articulates this theme subtly throughout the play. The first rhino causes little obvious harm; the second one tramples a cat; the following rhinos inflict more property damage; and Jean, dressed as a rhinoceros, assaults Berenger. Rhinos are a brutal metaphor for man’s underlying cruel nature.

The Rhinoceros play is often read in response to criticism and criticism of the sudden rise of fascism and Nazism during the events before World War II and explores themes of loyalty, culture, fascism, responsibility, logic, mass movement, public opinion, philosophy, and morality. So don’t confuse the Rhinoceros play (drama) with the Rhinoceros play (animals)!!

Rhinoceros play Acts

Act I

The play begins in the town square of a small provincial French village. Two friends meet in a coffee house to talk about an unforeseen emergency – the obvious, intellectual but ultimate proud jeans and the plain, shy, modest drunk bartender. Instead of talking about what they had to do, Gene became enraged by Berenger’s exhaustion and drunkenness and beat him until the rhinoceros was spread across the square, giving the people their considerable surprise.

People started talking about what happened when another man appeared in a rhinoceros and cried for a woman’s cat. This caused great outrage and people began to band together that the presence of this rhino should not be allowed. The beginning of the mass movement can be seen on stage.

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Act II

Berenger arrived late for work at the local newspaper office, but the newspaper’s receptionist Daisy (with whom Berenger is in love) did the cover for her. The office has sparked controversy between the sensitive and logical Deward and the violent, moody Botard, who does not believe that despite all the demands of eyewitnesses, Gonda may indeed have appeared in France.

Suddenly, Mrs. Beauf (a co-worker’s wife) appears that her husband is ill and has been chased by rhinoceros all the way to the office. Botard argues against the existence of the so-called “rhinoceros” movement, saying that the local people are very intelligent by the empty rhetoric of a mass movement.

When a rhino came out of the office and destroyed the rhino, all the staff and their boss, Mr. Papillion, was caught inside. Mrs. Beauf realized that the rhino was actually Mr. Bauff. Despite advising her, she jumped on the stairs and returned to her husband (on stage) and joined her husband. Daisy calls in firefighters and AK office workers escape through the office window.

Barneger went to see Jean, apologizing for the argument he had had the previous day, but found him in bed, heavy in an illness he had never done before. The two friends start arguing again, first of all, about the possibility of people actually becoming gangsters and then the morality of the transformations. The gene first begins to grow strongly against the rhinoceros, and slowly.

As the scene progresses, Jean’s skin becomes green and green, her forehead becomes horny, her voice is growing, and she begins to move around her apartment like a caged beast. Finally, he declared that the Gondaris had the right to live as human beings, and that “humanism has died; those who follow it are merely old sensitivists”, before he turns into a goon and chases Brenner out of his apartment.


Berengar’s nightmare in the house, she’s a ghost, she’s going to get mad like Jean. He wakes up feeling anxious about his head, coughing, and outside noise. After a lot of thinking he has a sneaky brandy and goes back to bed. Deward knocked and he and Beranger had almost the same conversation as Berenger and Gene did in Act 2 Scene 2. The only difference is that Dwyer is just averse to accepting the rhinoceros and thinking Berenger is unnatural and involuntary.

They go on to talk about gene conversion, alcohol (whether it vaccinates you or makes you bald or not), and their work, Mr. Papillon has converted as a Gondar and a logician. Berenger spots the Logician as a rhinoceros and says “I’ll never join you!” Shouting like this becomes even more exciting!

Daisy brings a basket of food. The conversation that Deward and Brenner have with Dudley is shown through the conversation and Deward’s side. Daisy revealed that Botard is now a Gondar too. Daisy and Deward reiterate that adapting yourself to the rhinoceros is the best solution, but Berenger resists. They begin to have lunch but are hampered by the fragmented walls outside. The fire station was sacked, and fire crews turned into rhinoceros.

Double leaf He wants to take the pandemic first hand Berenger tried to stop him, but Daisy lets him go. Deward soon turned into an outlaw. The sights and sounds of the turmoil become even more beautiful, despite their barbarism. Berenger mourns the death of Deward and Daisy reminds Berenger that they have no right to interfere with anyone else’s life. He did some brandy for Berenzer and removed his bandage – no signs of a change yet. Berenger claims he will protect her. He blames himself and Daisy for contributing to the change of genes and papillons, respectively, with a lack of empathy.

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Daisy convinces her to step away from the guilt. The phone rings, but they only hear rumblings on the line. They return to the radio for help, but Gonda has taken it as well. Berenger spoke of his love for Daisy and it seems he owes her. They try briefly to lead a normal life among the rhinoceros. After Berenger’s suggestion that they had tried to rebuild mankind, Daisy began to turn away from him, suggesting that Berenger’s love was not understood. He can believe they are true admirers of the rhino. Berenger immediately revisits his action and raises Daisy. They tell Berenger, considering their state, “In just minutes we have passed twenty-five years of married life!” They try to reconcile but leads to another argument. After examining himself in the mirror for any evidence of Beranger’s conversion, Daisy quietly left to join the rhinoceros.

Discovering that he is completely alone, Beranger lamented his dealings with Daisy. In solitude, he began to doubt his existence – language, appearance and mind. Alone, he finds himself in the wrong and tries to make a change in the rhinoceros. He struggles and fails. She returns to the mirror, confronts her fate, and breaks into a fight to accept her place. Suddenly, he snaps from it and renews his vow to accept the rhinoceros. Berena bravely shouts “I’m not capitulating!”


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