A Long and Difficult Journey, or The Odyssey: Crash Course Literature 201

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In which John Green teaches you about Homer’s Odyssey. If it was Homer’s If Homer was even real. Anyway, that stuff doesn’t really matter. John teaches you the classic, by which I mean classical, epic poem, the Odyssey. The Journey of Odysseus as he made his way home after the conclusion of the Trojan War is the stuff of legend. Literally. John will teach you about the double standard in Greek culture, Odysseus as jerk/hero, ancient PTSD, and cycles of violence. Also, there are no yogurt jokes. So think of that as a gift.

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Cole Sandick says:

As a lover of Greek Classics this is some quality analysis.

David Stinnett says:

Odyssey, ya see

Mason Peek says:

Dis vidio suks

Dung Bui says:

The Illiad and the Odyssey are some of my favorites classical literature, and some of my favorite mythologies. Thanks for doing a video on this.

Scott Jones says:

Just a thought as to your statement about studs and sluts standards: there is a saying that somewhat sums it up quite effectively:

“A key that unlocks many locks is known as a master key, but a lock that many keys can unlock is known as a shitty lock.”

With this in mind, one could consider women as the safeguard of their bodies and to allow many to transverse it with little resistance is to have little respect for what would be guarded.

bishopoftroy says:

STOP MAKING VIDEOS LIKE THIS !! Stop making videos in a machine gun style, no one thinks and memorizes things like that. It`s too damn fast. Why do i have to rewind the video to actually make some sense. Gosh, just take a breath from time to time.

Roger Holt says:

Anyone know if there is any relationship between Agamemnon and Haggunenons in Hitchiker’s Guide?

ZipZ says:

yeah yeah a greek story and apollo? i think goes and tries to find his love in the ship called the odyssey

Shannon Wick says:

I thought it was wrong of him to keep getting of task and talk about sex instead of Odysseys.

Amit das says:



how about argos? His dog.

Tracy Osimowicz says:

can someone make a video of just the “Open Letter to the Patriarchy” part so I can share it on Facebook? Please and thank you

Mudkip Master says:

Actually, all of this is false. The true story is that a fat Italian plumber and a ghost cap go rescue a princess from a fat turtle that wants to marry her

Missassin's Creed says:

Why are you judging a 3000 year old poem by today’s standards? Yes, it’s full of misogyny, but seriously, who cares? Plus, Odysseus, who is my crush, so stop saying mean things about him, does what he needs to do to survive. Hermes tells him he had better not refuse Circe when she offers him her bed. Yes, a man forced into bed against his wishes, but let’s just gloss right over that. And as for Calypso, come on, he was there for seven years, give the man a break. And Agamemnon is just bitter, and pissed because he’s a nob and it probably didn’t occur to him that maybe his wife plotted to have him killed because he tricked her into letting their daughter join the Greeks so he could sacrifice her to the gods. It had been ten years, he probably just forgot about that. He wasn’t the sharpest spear in the armoury, he didn’t even realise that Apollo’s plague might have something to do with him pissing off Apollo’s priest, or that maybe pissing off Achilles was a bad idea.

James says:

So I’m to spend forever reading this Epic Poem to accept a Deus ex Machina ending?

nick aicul says:

I thought it was nobody not no man

Jordan Schnabel says:

Its sad to see such a great piece of literature besmirched by postmodern thinking. Really, Odysseus can only be a hero by having sex with a lot of women? Im pretty sure the odyssey very clearly up holds “commitment” as a great virtue of the hero. To imply that the idea that sex is a sign of a successful man and a failed women is just a product of the patriarchy and not basic biology is just wrong. In a time before birth control man had nothing to lose from sex while women had everything to lose. This is just a basic biological inequality that is expressed in the odyssey. It is a reflection of the objective reality of that time. To claim that the paranoia around the feminine in the odyssey is just because man are DUH sexist is so incredibly reductive that it truly frightens me. The simple fact that you spend time talking about the themes of misogyny in the odyssey and no time talking about the themes of brotherhood shows that you’ve chosen to ignore facts, context, and nuance around the odyssey and instead went through the book with a modern political lens trying to spot every instance of social inequality so that you could manipulate, and distort a beautiful piece of history into a tool for you to push a modern political narrative. smh no respect for art and history.

Gib Mattson says:

Odysseus and Achilles. 2 greats. Great cleverness, cunning and deception. Raw violent power and (almost) invincible courage. A winning team.

Stoyan Nachev says:


Kagami Taiga says:


Atlas says:

To answer the Male and Female problem, let me explain in detail.
-Men have to be worth something to win a Woman’s hand. Like you need to be rich, charming, intelligent, in-shape, have high social status, creative, or good looking. So men have to be worth something.
-Women generally only have to say no or yes to advances. Throughout history though, women mostly tended to the children and house. A lady was seen as a man’s treasure in a sense. For she accepted him.

+So to summarize this; If a man is with multiple women, it means he seriously is worth something. If a Women sleeps with multiple men, it means she just said yes to everyone’s advances.

PS= my grammar is complete dogshit, so Im sorry. Also this topic is only a small summary, there is still plenty to discuss on both sides of the fence.

skyhart1000 says:

This has nothing to do with your video and I apologize for that but I just wanted you to know that I love your books. The Fault in our Stars changed my life and I have read paper towns a million times. I also loved Turtles all the way Down and I’m sorry to dump all of this on your vidio that has nothing at all to do with your books.

Ray M.D. says:

Another nerd bitten by the social justice bug

Kelley Knott says:

I thought Odysseus said his name was “Nohbdy”

cactus cardos camel says:

@the open letter, the answer is religion

phunkyzilla says:

For you comments on Women and differences in stances on sexuality being acceptable within public standards. A key that opens many locks is a good key, a lock that can be opened by many keys? that’s a shitty lock.

Nikos Yambouranis says:

no question why the humanities are in the horrible state in which they are at the moment, when all you are doing in regard to one of the most important poems of western culture is point at it 2000+ years later and cry “misogyny”..

Madison Brezik says:

Watch my video to better understand Odysseus’ character traits and development!!!!

Maja Nilsson says:

can you please do one on the iliad? there are basically no videos on it and I don’t understand why

Once Upon A Blink says:

Welcome to my life where I’m doing my homework at my grandparent’s house on Sunday

Stephanie Maendel says:

“It was a pun. A _blindingly_ good pun.”

Margaret Dale says:

Are you the broth of the gentleman who does the crashcourse with the science stuff?

Tad Tranclere says:

Odysseus has always been the Greek Hero I dislike the most. I’m glad John Green isn’t sugarcoating him.

MaliceInCandyland says:

According to the Odyssey’s latest translator (Emily Wilson), Penelope’s ‘servants’/’chambermaids’ (previous translations) are actually “slaves” and since slaves have no say in what happens to them, the suitors “raped” them. Then Odysseus slaughters the slaves for being impure in every sense of the word.

Awp Godplay says:

That’s the most liberal, balls-lacking, condescending, shallow interpretation of this poem. The symbolism and wisdom behind it far exceeds the narrow perspective presented here. If that’s a “cool” English teacher, I rather homeschool my kids.

Isabella Karvelas says:

Oh my goodness he’s dressed exactly like my English teacher down to the same pair of shoes is thus real life?

64standardtrickyness says:

I thought Achilles didn’t return the body of Hector to his father when asked and the gods were like did you know you are not completely immortal?

colonel frogs says:

I actually read the book before watching this video, i am so proud of myself.

Radle Grebdron says:

This is history and literature viewed through liberal lefty propaganda lenses.

Cheyanne Ferriter says:

DFTBA is all over my highschool lol

ManlySpirit says:

I think your channel is great John, but I wish you’d deliver these lessons through an apolitical lens. It’s rather jarring to hear you bring up feminist and liberal ideology as a means to analyze the work of authors who existed well before any of these concepts were ever conceived. Notwithstanding, that not everyone today would agree that some of these angles are as amoral as you portray them.

Pixics.com says:

How did this crash course sink into political correctness and the patriarchy?

Ruben Benjamin Schilhab Hansen 2d says:

Using a modern understanding of societal structures and the norms within to criticize a work from ancient Greece. Yeah, checks out.

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