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, initially resists before eventually succumbing to this metamorphosis himself.
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.