Unsourced the bald soprano eugene ionesco pdf may be challenged and removed. Ionesco The Lesson Shimer College 2011.
This play takes place in the office and dining room of a small French flat. The Professor’s Maid, a stout, red-faced woman of 40 to 50, worries about the Professor’s health. As the absurd and nonsensical lesson progresses, the Professor grows more and more angry with what he perceives as the Pupil’s ignorance, and the Pupil becomes more and more quiet and meek. Even her health begins to deteriorate, and what starts as a toothache develops into her entire body aching. Professor stabs and murders the Pupil.
The play ends with the Maid greeting a new Pupil, taking the play full circle, back to the beginning. The Professor in Flindt’s adaptation is a ballet teacher. March 12, 2009, obituary of Flindt. The Cambridge Guide to Theatre. This page was last edited on 22 June 2017, at 18:23. The play starts in the town square of a small provincial French village.
The people there begin to discuss what has happened when another rhinoceros appears and crushes a woman’s cat. This generates incredible outrage and people begin to band together to argue that the presence of these rhinos should not be allowed. The beginning of a mass movement is seen on stage. At the office, an argument has broken out between the sensitive and logical Dudard and the violent, temperamental Botard, since Botard does not believe a rhinoceros could actually appear in France despite all the claims by eyewitnesses that one did.
Botard argues against the existence of the so-called “rhinoceritis” movement that Mrs. Bœuf claims is occurring, saying that the local people are too intelligent to be tricked by the empty rhetorics of a mass movement. Bœuf joins her husband by jumping down the stairwell while the office-workers escape through a window. Bérenger goes to visit Jean in order to apologize for the previous day’s argument they had, but finds him in bed, heavy with a sickness he has never had before.
The two friends begin to argue again, first about the possibility of people actually turning into rhinos and then about the morality of the transformations. Jean is initially staunchly against the rhinos, but gradually grows lenient. As the scene progresses, Jean’s skin turns greener and greener, the bumps in his head grow into a horn, his voice grows hoarse and he begins to pace around his apartment like a caged beast. Finally, he proclaims that rhinoceros have just as much of a right to life as humans and that “Humanism is dead, those who follow it are just old sentimentalists”, before he turns into a rhino himself and chases Bérenger out of his apartment.
Everyone in town has succumbed to rhinoceritis save for Bérenger, Dudard and Daisy. Bérenger is locked up in his apartment, yelling at the rhinos that rush by for having destroyed civilization until Dudard arrives to check on him. Bérenger insists that the transformations could not be voluntary since his friend Jean had initially hated the rhinos and that he was probably brainwashed. Dudard counterargues that people can change their minds.
Just before he departs, Daisy arrives. Bérenger professes his love for Daisy and she seems to reciprocate. They attempt, albeit briefly, to have a normal life amongst the rhinoceroses. After Bérenger suggests that they attempt to re-populate the human race, Daisy begins to move away from him, suggesting that Bérenger does not understand love.
Bérenger slaps Daisy without thinking, immediately recanting his action. They consider their state with Bérenger exclaiming that, “in just a few minutes we have gone through twenty-five years of married life! They attempt to reconcile, but fail. As Bérenger examines himself in a mirror for any evidence of transformation, Daisy quietly leaves to join the rhinoceroses.