Author’s name: Dan Brown
Explanation of the title:
The novel tells us about the story of the Priory of Sion. The main characters have to find out what is the secret of the Priory. Leonardo Da Vinci was once one of the keepers of this secret. Also a lot of the paintings of Da Vinci have taken place in this story, the “Mona Lisa” and “The Last Supper” for example. In the course of the tale the main characters find the “clef de voûte” or “keystone”. This is a cylindrical object that contains a clue to the secret and it is designed by Da Vinci. So Da Vinci takes a great part in the story because the main characters have to crack the secret, or code, of Da Vinci.
Another title for this novel could be “The Priory of Sion”, because the whole secret that has to be solved is the secret of the Priory.
What is the novel about?
The story starts with the murder of the curator of the Louvre museum’s Grand Gallery, Jacques Saunière. Robert Langdon, an American professor of religious symbology on Harvard University, would meet the curator that very same evening. The meeting had never took place because of the murder. Langdon is the most important suspect because he had an appointment with Saunière and the fact that Saunière, before he died, wrote the name of Langdon on the floor. But Saunière also wrote a number of other cryptic texts. One refers to Sophie Neveu (cryptographer and Saunières granddaughter). Together with Neveu, Langdon succeeds to escape from the police, who seems that they gladly want to arrest Langdon for the murder. With Neveu on his side, Langdon tries to solve the cryptic indications and find out what secret Saunière has tried to pass on after his dead. They find out that the clues are related to the great secret around the Holy Greal. The secret is scrupulously kept by the Priory of Sion (a secret society where Saunière was the master of) until the time is good to reveal the secret. If this secret comes out, this would be the end of the power of the Vatican en the society Opus Dei. Soon Langdon and Neveu find the keystone in a Swiss bank after they have solved the indications that Saunière made. The keystone is a cryptex, designed by Leonardo Da Vinci. Now they have to crack the cryptex. For that they go to an old friend of Langdon, Leigh Teabing. He is a relious historian and his life passion is the Holy Grail. Together with Teabing they could open the cryptex. But after they have opened the cryptex, they find another second cryptex and not the expected way to the Grail. Langdon and Neveu have to open that to, but they have in the meantime the French police force behind itself and members of the Opus Dei. Eventually Langdon, Neveu and Teabing arrive in Londen and go to the Temple Church to find the solution of the second cryptex. They see that it has to be the wrong chruch and they get an unpleasant surprise. Langdon and Neveu are forced by the monk Silas and the employee of Teabing, Rémy to give them the cryptex because they have kidnapped Teabing. Langdon gives them the cryptex and they leave with the cryptex and Teabing. Langdon and Neveu realise that the one who has the cryptex, also want to know what’s the solution. Langdon and Neveu go to the King’s College to search for the solution whit the entry’s they have. They find Westminster Abbey were they could find the solution for the cryptex. When they arrive at Westminster Abbey, they see a message left by the kidnapper that tells that they have to come to a special place in Westminster Abbey. Langdon and Neveu do what the message said and when they arrive at that place, they see Teabing standing there whit a Medusa revolver in his hand. He was the one who worked against them and he heard everything they said. Teabing has got the cryptex and forces Neveu and Langdon to tell the solution or else they get shot. Neveu don’t want that because her grandfather has chosen her to pass on the secret to the ones who are worth it and Teabing is not one of those. Langdon pretends that he cooperates and he gets the cryptex for a while to solve it. When Teabing thinks it is time for the solution, Langdon throws the cryptex into the air. Teabing fears that the cryptex will break and that the secret will be lost forever, so he throws his revolver en grasps to the cryptex. He misses en the cryptex falls on the floor. Then he sees Langdon and Neveu holding the contents of the cryptex and the revolver. Langdon had obtained the contents before he had throw it into the air. At that moment, the police arrives and arrests Teabing. Langdon and Neveu get the chance to discover the location of the holy grail. They end up for Rosslyn Chapel but they don’t know were to find the grail. Neveu remembers that she was here before with her grandfather when she was little and that he had to cry very much. She goes to the house next to the chapel and there proves that her grandmother and her brother were not dead at all but live there because they fear attacks at the Priory of Sion, were her grandfather was the master of. It is an emotional reunion and the grandmother of Neveu seems to know were the holy grail is been hidden because she also was an important member of the Priory. She explains it to Langdon and now he also understands why Saunière wanted to have an appointment with him, in his new book he accidentally guessed were the Holy Grail is been hidden.
Who is/are most important in the story and why?
The leading character is Robert Landon because he is the one who had solved the mystery of the Holy Grail. The other important characters are Sophie Neveu (because she was on the side of Langdon, helping him to find the grail. She also was the granddaughter of Jacques Saunière.), sir Leigh Teabing (because he was the bad guy, trying to steal the grail) and the monk Silas (he was the employee of Teabing, but first he did not know).
Where does the action take place?
It begins in Paris, at the Louvre museum’s Grand Gallery. Then Landon and Neveu travel across Paris. When they arrive at Teabing’s, they take a plane to London. After Teabing is arrested, they travel further to Edinburgh in Scotland. The story ends in Paris again, when Langdon kneels before the resting place of Mary Magdalene in the Louvre Museum.
The story takes place in the present. The story begins halfly at night, when Langdon wakes up after a phone call, and ends for the most characters the next evening except for Langdon. When he slept for two days in the Ritz Hotel in Paris, he finally solves the mystery of the Da Vinci Code.
Why did the author write the story?
- He wants to entertain the readers.
- He wants to learn the readers something about the symbolism around the Holy Grail.
- He wants the readers to pay attention for the story of the Holy Grail.
How did the author tell the story?
It is a thriller. It is a gripping mix of murder and myth.
1. In which countries does take place the tale and in which order?
First in Paris, France. Second in London, England. Third in Edinburgh, Scotland. And last in Paris, France again.
2. What brings Robert Langdon into this event?
He is the main suspect in the case of Jacques Saunière.
3. Where and how finds Langdon the cryptex?
He finds it in the Swiss Bank in Paris. He gets is by using the key that Saunière left behind the painting in the Louvre. The code for opening the volt is the Fibonacci sequence.
4. Why becomes Langdon suspected in the case of Jacques Saunière?
He had an appointment with Saunière and Saunière wrote Langdons name on the floor.
5. By who and why is Saunière assassinated?
He is assassinated by Silas because he was the master of the Priory of Sion and Silas wants to know their secret.
6. Which organisation has kept the secret for many years and which organisation has worked against this organisation?
The Priory of Sion has kept the secret and the Opus Dei works against this organisation.
7. Where does Silas comes from?
He comes from Andorra. After he was in prison, he lived in a convent in Spain with Bishop Aringarosa
8. Who proves to be the Teacher where Silas is in contact with?
Teabing proves to be the Teacher.
9. Which secret is the painting “The Last Supper” hiding?
Trough the painting Langdon comes to the conclusion that the Holy Grail is not a cup but a women, Mary Magdalene.
10. What’s truth about Neveu’s family?
They were not killed in a car accident but they live next to Rosslyn’s Chapel because Neveu and her brother had to be save because they were the descendants of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. To make sure that they were save, they were separated.
I liked the work very much. I like the historical facts that are spread in the whole book. I also like the excitement that you can feel everywhere in the book. The riddles make sure that you try to solve them yourself and so you get a real close band with the characters. I defiantly would read the book a second time and maybe a third time, because there are so many facts you can’t remember it all. So if you read a several times you know all the fact. I would recommend it to another student because it’s not only a book full of facts but it is also a very exciting book!