Don’t Reanimate Corpses! Frankenstein Part 1: Crash Course Literature 205

In which John Green teaches you about Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein. Sure, you know Frankenstein the cultural phenomenon, but how much do you know about the novel that started it all? You’ll learn about the Romantic movement in English lit, of which Frankenstein is a GREAT example, and you’ll learn that Frankenstein might just be the first SciFi novel. Once again, literature comes down to just what it means to be human. John will review the plot, and take you through a couple of different critical readings of the novel, and will discuss the final disposition of Percy Shelley’s heart.


Matthew Julien says:

“I don’t know why Zeus wouldn’t trust humans with fire.” *gunpowder explosions* God I love Crash Course.

David Z says:

Crash course chemistry and biology will NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN!

Joseph Beesley says:

The Monster never returns to Frankenstein to show he has educated himself before he kills his brother – he just kills his brother for the hell of it

natkatmac says:

So Frankenstein’s Monster has a hundred movie adaptations but Mary Shelley’s life only has one subpar movie? I need to see this injustice be fixed.

Charles Park says:

Knowledge is knowing that the definition of knowledge and wisdom are both in the dictionary online. Wisdom is knowing better than pretending you are wise by parroting a meme about wisdom and knowledge like you just came up with it, when everyone knows you didn’t.

Scout Halle says:

Love this!! You are a hilarious genius!

Bo Rerun says:

Isn’t the monster Frankenstein Jr

OverlordDystroy says:


beaus101 says:

I enjoyed this report; with respect– though the sailors had seen the monster on the sled first. Walten awoke to his crew discovering Frankenstein later. Also even though they called her their cousin , the Frankenstein family adopted her. Again this was an excellent presentation on the book.

pioco56 says:

It’s crazy that a 19 year old girl wrote this book in the early 1800s, because of a bet.

Gaia Ang says:

just noticed the pokemon balls at 6:46

Carolyn Lozan says:

I think Shelley may have also drawn from the jewish folk stories called ‘The Gollem’.

Peter Reed says:

Why does Walton have Pokeballs on his ship? Is this now canon?

Oksana says:

I’m only watching this because Frankenstein is honestly the best book I’ve ever read

Nise Hammeken says:

I got distracted by the Alf picture and the barrel of pokéballs on the ship!!

Волибор Заставкин says:

who is more human depends on what do you mean by “human”.

Abbas Kay says:

What era was Frankenstein written in i know it is in 1818 but what is the name of the era? As it is good to know for context.

Lone Wolf says:

I want that toy heart ❤

Hannah Sophia Gonzaga says:

John Green: **makes really profound quotes and writes best selling novels**
Also John Green: And that’s why you shouldn’t go to college. Just kidding go to college.

Grizlerber says:

So what you’re telling me is Hank is Frankenstein.

regular0guy says:

knowledge is knowing franken stei wasn’t the monester, wisdom is knowing thet frankenstein was the monster

19billdong96 says:

Ahhh memories of reading this book and leaving the Christian faith as a result~

77FantasyAngel77 says:

I mean, for a creature with basically no role models who had to scrape and survive in the wild, I’m impressed be wasn’t INSTANTLY murderous against his neglectful creator.

TheaterRaven says:

“It’s important to remember that God did not expel Satan ‘for no misdeed’. Frankenstein allies the Creature with Satan, but that doesn’t mean the Creature is all bad.”

THANK YOU! Do characters in the novel, including the Creature himself, compare him to Satan? Yes, and fair enough in the story itself. But I can’t stand it when readers and analysts compare the Creature from “Frankenstein” or Erik, the title character from “The Phantom of the Opera” by Gaston Leroux, with Satan. It simplifies the characters and not only demonizes them (obviously) but also what it means to be human.

Both the Creature and Erik came into the world completely innocent and were rejected from day one and perceived to be monsters because of their appearances. They asked for nothing more than acceptance, love, and to be treated with basic human decency. It was only after repeated rejections and abuse by various people that they both turned to violent, monstrous behavior. Does that justify their behavior? No, of course not, but you can hardly blame them.

Satan, meanwhile, as the Christian stories say, started existence as God’s best and brightest angel. Then one day, he decided he wasn’t happy in the paradise of Heaven anymore–I don’t know how that’s possible, but anyway, moving on–and he switched to being a force of pure malevolence who tried to rebel with a third of the angels. God cast them all down to the lake of fire, the forces of Heaven and Hell have been playing tug-of-war with the rest of creation ever since, the end.

I find it deeply disturbing that some can look at characters’ yearning for love and acceptance or their quest for knowledge (not even overstepping, just searching for knowledge in general) and compare it to Satan and his attempted rebellion against God. Such comparisons only seem to echo the fundamentalist Judeo-Christian worldview that has often stunted humanity’s capacity for emotional empathy and intellectual growth, a worldview that I think would contrast everything a loving and forgiving Creator would feel towards humanity, a worldview that says, “Because humans are imperfect and make mistakes or even act in cutthroat and/or intentionally malicious ways at times, we don’t deserve love or knowledge and should feel perpetually guilty for wanting them.”

Leonor Correia says:

I loved this video. I enjoy reading through a book’s sparknotes after I finish and digest it for a bit, but they don’t usually bring anything new to the table. I read Frankenstein and it bored me to death, but this video showed me a new perspective on the novel I hadn’t considered before, so thank you for that. It’s not something that usually happens, as I’m used to catching all or most of the nuances in what I read, but that’s exactly why I’m so excited. I think I’ll even reread the book! Outstanding work, as always

Elise Curran says:

Oh, Hank and the organic chemistry! I almost went that route….

Sebastian Arena says:

Ok, but I am gonna throw something here. I read the book, but now I get a feeling of something: Frankenstein is also an story on how oppresion turns the victim into monster and yet this doesn’t deny its nature of victim. Yeah the monster got into somekind of killing spree but only after Frankestein rejected him and also it had lived in the wilderness cause of being rejected and so on and so forth and… you kind of see it like a murderer, but also a victim. And this could talk volumes and volumes about minorities in the XXI century.

Tyler Nygren says:

In addition to the given explanation for the novel’s subtitle, it should be noted that Prometheus also acts as the creator of humanity in many myths, although there is some variance across tellings.

KXI - Gaming & More says:

Sorry to burst your bubble, but

*Knowledge* is knowing something
*Wisdom* is puting that knowledge into action

Riicho Bamin says:

@5:41 why are there pokeballs ?

Lottie Mackiewicz says:

is no one going to mention that Robert Walton is carrying poke-balls in his ship???

24ANemo says:

I’d love to see an episode or two on Dracula. Keep up the great work!

Nayna George says:

Can you please do an episode on A Vindication of the Rights of Woman?

Nise Hammeken says:

3:35 “In short, you were literally hard-hearted.” <3

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