Rhinoceros

by: Eugène Ionesco

Suggested Essay Topics

Writing help Suggested Essay Topics

Trace the progression of harm and violence in the play and the characters' reactions to it. Use John Stuart Mill's "harm principle" from On Liberty as a starting point (the harm principle states that individual freedom should be preserved so long as it does not directly harm anyone else).

What is the function of Ionesco's use of comedy? Does it distract us from the idea at hand, or call more attention to it?

No full-blown rhinoceroses appear directly on-stage. Aside from the physical difficulties this would present, why does Ionesco refrain from showing us what an actual rhino looks like?

Daisy says that you can only predict something once it has happened. Many characters in the play make incorrect assumptions, and then rationalize these after they have been disproved. Discuss the implications of these retroactive "predictions."

What is Ionesco's take on the workplace? How does this influence the rest of the play?