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Author Eugène Ionesco
Type of work Drama
Genre Absurdist drama/comedy
Time and place written Paris, 1959
Date of First Production Paris, 1960
Publisher Grove Press
Narrator No narrator; drama
Climax The climax is delivered in the final line of the play, when Berenger decides to fight the rhinoceroses
Antagonist The rhinoceroses
Setting (time) Modern day
Setting (place) A small town
Point of view As it is a play, there is no distinct point of view, but the audience sides with Berenger, the only person who sees through the rhinoceroses. However, Ionesco has the rhinoceroses grow more beautiful by the end to represent the changing perceptions of the remaining humans (such as Daisy), a fact that the audience cannot ignore.
Falling action There is no falling action; the curtain closes on Berenger's climactic decision
Tense Play; present tense
Foreshadowing Berenger and Jean both show oppositions of character in relation to will (Berenger is more responsible and committed than one might think, Jean less so).
Tone Absurdly comic, philosophical
Themes Will and responsibility; absurdity and logic; fascism
Motifs Bourgeois alienation; escapism; harm/violence
Ace your assignments with our guide to Rhinoceros!