Three Plays: Rhinoceros / The Chairs / The Lesson - Eugène Ionesco, Derek Prouse
This is what Ionesco him­self says about his play (trans­lated):
It’s not even a satire: it’s the fairly objec­tive descrip­tion of a process of inflam­ma­tion, of a devel­op­ment of a total­i­tar­i­an­ism that’s spread­ing, that prop­a­gates, cap­tures, that’s chang­ing a world. And this world will be totally changed because after all it’s about totalitarianism.

The play is about peo­ple chang­ing into rhi­noc­er­oses. At first there are only a few, but in a few hours time there are more rhi­noc­er­oses than there are humans left. At first the char­ac­ters don’t know why these changes are hap­pen­ing, but as the play pro­gresses the main char­ac­ter Berenger notices that the change is made vol­un­tar­ily. Peo­ple are curi­ous about what is new, so they want to know what it is to be a rhi­noc­eros. After that they just want to be part of some­thing, don’t want to be an out­sider, so if they see that the world is chang­ing around them, they change with it. After the change all the peo­ple look the same, they lost their indi­vid­u­al­ity to be part of some­thing greater. Only Berenger stays a human, he wants to be an indi­vid­ual, keep think­ing for him­self. He doesn’t go with the com­mu­nal hys­te­ria that cap­tures the peo­ple around him. His last words are: I don’t capitulate!

Although Ionesco’s way is absurd (humans chang­ing into rhi­noc­er­oses), he gets the mes­sage across loud and clear. He describes the process what hap­pened i.e. dur­ing WO II. He also makes it very clear that it can hap­pen to every­body every­where.
Trans­lated from the French I’ve read this play in Dutch, but I don’t think that had any effect on the story told. It was just brilliant.