First-Year Writing Contest


First-Year Writing Contest 2012

Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 2012

Author Comments

I first began writing “The Grapes of Dionysus’s Wrath” the summer before I entered Lake Forest College, and the paper remains, to this day, one of my favorite essays that I have written at Lake Forest. Working with Euripides’s The Bacchae was a wonderful experience, and when I wrote the paper, I wanted to respect the depth and poignancy of Euripides’s work by examining how he addressed such universal themes of human existence, such as the fear of the unknown and the perils of extremism. Through his symbolism and these resounding themes, I found a play akin to our modern era, a work that demonstrated that human beings, no matter the time, place, or culture, share quintessential questions of existence that unite them, even when they believe that their differences are irreconcilable. From this paper and other papers I have written at Lake Forest, I have discovered my passion for the comparative analysis of literature and culture, especially in the realm of myth, language, and folklore studies. Ultimately, as an aspiring mythologist and writer, my hope is that this paper offers Euripides the respect he deserves as a playwright and that one day, I, too, might be able to write a similar work, a text that uses an understanding of ancient cultures and belief systems to explore fundamental questions of human existence and that stands the test of time.

Faculty Advisor

Rui Zhu



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