The Da Vinci code describes the attempts of Robert Langdon, Professor of Religious Symbology at Harvard University, to solve the murder of renowned curator Jacques Saunière of the Louvre Museum in Paris. The title of the novel refers to, among other things, the fact that Saunière's body is found in the Denon Wing of the Louvre, naked and posed like Leonardo Da Vinci's famous drawing, the Vitruvian Man, with a cryptic message written beside his body and a Pentacle drawn on his stomach in his own blood (Brown 10-37).
The novel has several concurrent subplots interweaving the lives of different characters; eventually all the characters are brought together and the subplots resolved in the conclusion. The unraveling of the mystery requires the solution to a series of brainteasers, including anagrams and number puzzles. The ultimate solution is closely connected with the possible location of the Holy Grail and to a mysterious society called the Priory of Sion, as well as to the Knights Templar. The story also involves the Roman Catholic organization Opus Dei.
As explained by Leigh Teabing to Sophie Neveu (in the Da Vinci code), the figure at the right hand of Jesus is supposedly not the apostle John, but Mary Magdalene. According to the book, Mary Magdalene was the wife of Jesus Christ and was in fact pregnant with his child when Jesus was crucified. The absence of a chalice in the painting supposedly indicates that Leonardo knew that Mary Magdalene was actually the Holy Grail (the bearer of Jesus' blood). The letter “V” that is created with the bodily... [continues]
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