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What if The Holy Grail was not the chalice that Lord Jesus Christ drank wine from for the last time? What if the Holy Grail symbolizes the wedded wife of Lord Jesus, the Saviour Christ and the Son of God? What if this is only one of the truths that the Holy Church has concealed for about two thousand years? The mystery and the wonderment that lies in people’s faith and beliefs is more important than the facts that might prove them right or wrong. In “The Da Vinci Code” , the key characters have unswayable faith and act accordingly, carving out the fate of the protagonists, Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu, and the outcome of the novel. A murderous albino, a recklessly determined British historian and the heroic brotherhood called the Priory of Sion – all have a common goal – to sway the fate of the Holy Grail towards the bias of their faith and beliefs. Their individual pursuits and encounters with the protagonists reveal the details about the truth and the lies that fog the perception of the Holy Grail.
Right from the first incident in the story till the climax, an albino is depicted as a monk who has been sent by the Church to kill every person that comes in the way of the attainment of the Holy Grail. Silas believes that because the Opus Dei and the Bishop Aringarosa led him to washing away his sins, his goal lies in following the self-punishing ways of his cult and in aiding whatever the Church wishes to achieve. His blind faith in the Church is shown when he justifies his actions by thinking that “His service to God today had required the sin of murder, and … in his heart for all eternity.” Silas believes that the ends justify the means. He does not believe that it is wrong to murder because he will find the Grail. This facet of him is clear when he thinks to himself before one his murders that “The keystone. It will lead us to our final goal.” Thus, Silas stands for the capacity of the Church to change people completely, into followers of the cult that it can be, an important idea in the novel.
A British historian by the name of Leigh Teabing is shown as being hell-bent on using any means possible to reveal the truth about the Holy Grail to the world, thereby destroying the foundation of a number of principles of Christianity. Teabing is actually the mysterious Teacher who has ordered all the killings and he explains that the murders and his betrayal of Langdon and Sophie is noble when he says: “[It] would have been far simpler … Instead I risked everything to take the nobler course.” Like Silas, Teabing too has the belief that the ends justify the means. During the climax, he explains this when he says that, “Every Grail quest requires sacrifice.” It is ironic because though he orders the murders, he does not make one personal sacrifice on his so-called “Grail quest”. Thus, Teabing stands for the capacity of people to manipulate others and fuel their causes by “sacrificing” them.
At the core of the novel is the pursuit that leads the protagonists closer and closer towards a heavily guarded Christian secret, the true Holy Grail. The Prior of Sion that guards this secret believes that however explosive the secret, the truth must be kept alive. For this reason alone, numerous members have sacrificed their lives in order to follow their beliefs. Langdon explains this to Sophie when he says, “The Priory vowed that no matter how long … , so the truth would never die.” Ever since their foundation, The Priory of Sion has passed on this secret to only four men at one time. Teabing later consolidates Sophie’s knowledge about the subject, when he says, “But the brothers would never talk. … Even in the face of death.” This symbolizes the commitment of the Priory in working for the faith that the members share. Thus, the Priory of Sion stands for the capacity of people of a similar belief to go to the greatest lengths to keep the faith intact.
Thus, the key characters do play pivotal roles in the outcome of the novel. Their faiths and beliefs show how the central subject, the Holy Grail, and its importance are perceived differently; how their actions are justified differently. Although the faiths and beliefs of people differ so greatly, it is incredible how the ends always seem to justify the means and the most accurate of facts do not matter then. Who knows what the Holy Grail really holds in store? Who knows whether it exists or not? Who knows whether even God exists or not? Certainly, the world would have been trying incessantly to find answers to these questions had it not been for the faith, void of any logic, that binds groups of people into societies and carries everyone forward on the path of their belief. And yet, some people do feel the need of facts and therefore, embark upon “Grail quests”. But, just as shown in the climax of “The Da Vinci Code”, it’s the faith that prevails, not the facts.
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