This essay Eugene Ionesco's Rhinoceros: True Means Resides has a total of 715 words and 3 pages.
Eugene Ionesco\'s "Rhinoceros": True Means Resides in Action not Words
I awoke sweating. Breathing heavily, I glanced over at my clock and
read the time. 4:00 AM. I wasn\'t sure if this was reality or not so I ran my
palm over my scalp. No bump. A sigh of relief came over me. "Phew," I said,
"it was only a dream."
This is a dream I have had often throughout the past couple of years.
Each time, the bump in my dream gets bigger and bigger and each time I wake up
I\'m more and more frightened that the dream was real. "I will not be a
rhinoceros," I tell myself over and over. "I will not."
These words I tell myself are nearly meaningless though. They are words
and nothing more. Futile attempts to ease the pain of my "rhinocerotic" life.
The only way to really not become a rhinoceros is by making the existential
decision not to do so.
A main theme in Eugene Ionesco\'s, Rhinoceros, is that true meaning
resides in action rather than in mere words. A resistance to taking action then
results in one\'s becoming a rhinoceros. Jean illustrates this in the beginning
of Act 2, scene 2, when we see Jean and Berenger bickering. Berenger feels that
Jean isn\'t looking or feeling well and threatens to get him a doctor. Jean
resists by saying, "You\'re not going to get the doctor because I don\'t want the
doctor. I can look after myself." (pp. 62) This refusal comes from his
arrogant view of himself as a "Master of [his] own thoughts," (pp. 61) and
"[Having] will-power!" (pp. 7) By seeing the doctor, Jean would have put
himself in the position of taking responsibility for his actions and seeing that
he wasn\'t always the "master of his own thoughts" and that his will-power was
actually quite weak. It would be admitting the meaninglessness in his futile
attempts to remain a human. He didn\'t want to see that he, in fact, was
becoming a rhinoceros.
Had Jean agreed to see a doctor, he may have been saved. By seeing the
doctor, Jean would have come to terms with his becoming a rhinoceros. After
coming to terms with his current state, he could then change his subsequent
state to one of taking action to be an individual.
Berenger, however, illustrates the power in making an existential
decision. The trumpeting call of the rhinoceros was a persuasive one, but
Berenger was able to resist it through his commitment and determination. In the
beginning of Act 3, Berenger and Dudard are speaking after Berenger was awakened
from a nightmare. Dudard proposed the possibility that Berenger could turn into
a rhinoceros. Berenger refutes this possibility by saying, "If you really don\'t
want to knock yourself, you don\'t." (pp. 73). The knocking yourself he is
speaking of is the growing of a horn and turning into a rhinoceros. He again
reiterates this by saying, "...If one really doesn\'t want to, really doesn\'t
want to catch this thing, which after all is a nervous disease-then you don\'t
catch it..." (pp. 76) Berenger is explaining to Dudard how through making an
existential choice, one can avoid becoming a rhinoceros.
Ionesco then uses Dudard to ignite Berenger\'s desire to not become a
rhinoceros when Dudard says to him to prove his will-power and stop drinking.
This leads Berenger to his realization that he despises rhinoceroses and his
determination to not be like them. It now becomes imminent that Berenger will
achieve his "moment of commitment" though he still possesses some doubts.
The ultimate commitment occurs at the very end of the play when Daisy
finds the rhinoceroses more and more attractive and Berenger finds them more and
more disgusting. When Daisy eventually joins them and Berenger is left by
himself. Only then does he make his true existential decision by saying, "I\'m
the last man left, and I\'m staying that way until the end. I\'m not
This is the decision that all of us must make. We must resist our
temptations to make up meaningless decrees for ourselves and take responsibility
for our actions. Existentialist decision allows us to act to overcome our
weaknesses and remain productive humans. This is the only way to end our
nightmare. This is the only way to know we will never have to wake up with a
bump on our heads. We must always believe in ourselves and what is right. We
must realize that as we act, so shall we become.
Topics Related to Eugene Ionesco's Rhinoceros: True Means Resides
Theatre of the Absurd, Rhinoceros, Eugne Ionesco, Berengar
Essays Related to Eugene Ionesco's Rhinoceros: True Means Resides
ExistentialismExistentialism Existentialism is a concept that became popular during the second World War in France, and just after it. French playrights have often used the stage to express their views, and these views came to surface even during a Nazi occupation. Bernard Shaw got his play Saint Joan past the German censors because it appeared to be very Anti-British. French audiences however immediately understood the real meaning of the play, and replaced the British with the Germans. Those sorts of hid
Child Rearing in Victorian TimesChild Rearing in Victorian Times Andrea Orasi Mrs. Rocca Childhood barely existed for most British children at the end of the eighteenth century, since they began a lifetime of hard labour as soon as they were capable of simple tasks. By contrast, the fortunate children of the wealthy generally were spoiled and enjoyed special provisions for the need of a lengthy childhood, yet who in a way may have endured the same pain of those who were not as fortunate. Child rearing in the Victorian times wa
Epic TheatresEpic Theatres Epic Theatre turns the spectator into an observer, but arouses his capacity for action, forces him to take decisions...the spectator stands outside, studies. (Bertolt Brecht. Brecht on Theatre. New York:Hill & Yang, 1964. p37) The concept of “epic theatre” was brought to life by German playwright, Bertolt Brecht. This direction of theatre was inspired by Brecht\'s Marxist political beliefs. It was somewhat of a political platform for his ideologies. Epic theatre is the assimilati
Child Rearing in the Victorian EraChild Rearing in the Victorian Era Childhood barely existed for most British children at the end of the eighteenth century, since they began a lifetime of hard labour as soon as they were capable of simple tasks. By contrast, the fortunate children of the wealthy generally were spoiled and enjoyed special provisions for the need of a lengthy childhood, yet who in a way may have endured the same pain of those who were not as fortunate. Child rearing in the Victorian times was not at all similar t
Epic Theatre The Caucasian Chalk CircleEpic Theatre The Caucasian Chalk Circle “Epic Theatre turns the spectator into an observer, but arouses his capacity for action, forces him to take decisions...the spectator stands outside, studies.” (Bertolt Brecht. Brecht on Theatre. New York:Hill & Yang, 1964. p37) The concept of “epic theatre” was brought to life by German playwright, Bertolt Brecht. This direction of theatre was inspired by Brecht’s Marxist political beliefs. It was somewhat of a political platform for his ideologies. Epic
Eugene Ionesco et le Theatre de l'AbsurdeEugene Ionesco et le Theatre de l\'Absurde Eugene Ionesco est ne le 26 novembre, 1912 a Slatina en Roumanie. Il eteit elu a l’Academie Francaise in 1970. Apres qu’il avait obtenu son diplome et sondoctorat, il a travaille a Paris comme correcteur, et bientot, il a commence a ecrire. Comme ecrivain, Ionesco inspirait une grande revolution dramatique. Il a aide a inaugurer le Theatre de l’Absurde. En 1949, il a ecrit La Cantatrice Chauve. La piece etait basee sur des idees antilogiques. Ses deux p
Art NotesArt Notes Renaissance (1300-1500) § Dimensions of nature § Rebirth § Science - technology § Discoveries beyond Europe § Paint more naturally- using perspective /_ (triangle) § Illusion of space § Art was based on the visual world § Art was based on mathematical physics § Earth was no longer thought to be the centre of the Universe § Metallurgy and exploration of the world § Camera Obscura- image upside-down through light and an aid to painting § Mathematical theories can explain all human experi
Bat Boy: The MusicalBat Boy: The Musical Intro to Theatre TH102 Reaction Paper #1 11/04/03 The play Bat Boy: The Musical is the product of an historic alliance between the Weekly World News and three authors from Los Angeles. This wonderful production combines the journalism of the Weekly World News with the power of song. It’s a creative theatrical production based on the alleged sightings of a mysterious “bat child”, half-boy and half-bat, reported by tabloid newspapers. The protagonist of the production is the B
Biographical PrefaceBiographical Preface English 12 4 April 1997 On July third of nineteen thirty seven, in Zlin, Czechoslovakia, a boy was born by the name of Tomas Straussler. Tomas was born onto Eugene Straussler and Martha Stoppard. Later in his life Tomas took his mother’s last name and shortened his first name to Tom. His father was a physician. When his father was killed by the Nazis the rest of the family fled to the far East. Tom went to school in Darjeeling, India. There his mother met a British officer w
Hamlet and Rosencratz and Guildenstern essayHamlet and Rosencratz and Guildenstern essay In class, we have studied both “Hamlet” and “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead” (Ros and Guil) and through this time my understanding of both these texts have been transformed and reshaped in a number of ways. I have realised that each text, whether old or new, can be told and interpreted in a different way, and, in turn, be presented to an audience in a totally different way to which it was first intended by its original author. This is seen in t
Lilliputian and English Court LifeLilliputian and English Court Life EN4723 There are different views about the nature of English court life during the early eighteenth century. Some embrace the pomp and show of court life with open arms, and others see the court and its customs as an ostentatious, unnecessary display of wealth and arrogance. Swift’s allegory in part 1 of Gulliver’s Travels draws a comparison between George I’s court during the years preceding the publication of the book and the Lilliputian court. It serves as a
Orson WellesOrson Welles George Orson Welles, known more commonly as Orson Welles was a director, producer, writer, and actor. Mr. Welles was born on May 6, 1915, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. His father was an inventor and manufacturer and his mother a talented pianist. Welles was regarded as an absolute genius from early childhood and his creative abilities were encouraged and nurtured. His early childhood was to a large extent, directed by his mother\'s physician and admirer, Dr. Maurice Bernstein. (Russell 9)