The Holy Grail and The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)

Cultural artifacts play a vital role in the study of humans and civilizations across historical timelines. They are not created just for aesthetic purposes. They embody the cultural meaning of a people’s life. While every artifact carries its unique importance, it is not uncommon to encounter several cultural artifacts from different historical timelines, even in other cultures, that embody a similar message in context. An example of such artifacts is the Holy Grail of the 12th century and the film entitled ‘The Da Vinci Code’ (2006) by Dan Brown, adapted from his novel by the same name.

The Holy Grail is an object whose significance is of universal appeal. It is among the most mysterious artifacts of medieval literature and culture. From a Christian perspective, it is assumed to be the cup from which Jesus Christ drank when having the Last feast with his disciples. The cup would later be picked and kept by Joseph of Arimathea, who used it to collect the blood of Jesus during his crucifixion. But the history of the Holy Grail dates back in history beyond the Christian meaning. Believing that the cup had been taken to Britain by Joseph of Arimathea, King Arthur’s Knights took it upon themselves to pursue the cup and retrieve it. It was believed to have miraculous properties.

In Britain, the story had it that the Holy Grail was hidden in a mysterious castle encircled by a wasteland and protected by a guard by the name Fisher King, who had a blistering wound on his leg that would not heal. His recovery was pegged on the successful discovery of the cup. Besides, the Knights believed that England’s fortunes could only be restored if the Holy Grail was retrieved (Wood, 2008). They also thought that their only way to self-realization was by finding the cup. The Holy Grail is therefore conceived to be a representation of an individual’s personal quest for salvation and self-realization.

The theme of mystery and the quest for self-discovery in the Holy Grail mythology has been captured in other forms of art such as literature and film (Burge, 2006). In 2003, Dan Brown released his best-selling novel, ‘The Da Vinci Code,’ with the Holy Grail at its center. The book was followed by a film version of the novel by the same name. Ron Howard directed the film, and the story was modified for the screen by Goldsman Akiva. Among the producers is Dan Brown, the author. Holy Grail in the movie is not a cup as in the medieval myths and Christian lore. Instead, Dan brings forth an exciting twist to the story where the Holy Grail takes the form of a woman, Mary Magdalene, believed to have been the wife of Jesus and with whom they had descendants.

The Holy Grail is conceived as Mary Magdalene’s Womb (Sabillah et al., 2020). The theme of the mysterious and the search for truth is portrayed in the murder of a Louvre curator, Jacques Sauniere, who was believed to have the code that led to the Holy Grail’s location, just as was the case with Joseph of Arimathea. The Holy Grail in the film is also believed to have magic powers, the source of God’s power on Earth. Overall examination of the artifacts displays an overarching theme that is the supernatural’s power and how it affects men’s lives. Self-discovery is achieved when an individual aligns with magical powers that control their lives.

The theme oscillates with a recent experience I went through. A close family member was diagnosed with a fatal illness and was given a few days to live. According to the Christian faith, a priest was invited to deliver the Holy Communion as a sign of hope and belief. The Holy Communion is usually administered in a cup that is believed to be the Holy Grail. It is believed that partaking of the Holy Communion can lead to physical healing or spiritual awakening. In a way, I felt myself feeling the theme of mystery, as I questioned why something so unfortunate would occur to anyone in my family.

Stock market traders and brokers are likely to be affected by the identified theme of mystery and quest for self-discovery. The relationship between the theme and the profession is that stockbrokers are usually filled with uncertainties. Most incidence happens without them seeing the possibility of the change to occur. Such people in this profession often spend much of their time discovering more secrets regarding the changing markets and finding more unique tricks to analyze the stock markets. The knowledge of humanities is essential in this field since through scholars’ and economists’ work, learning culture and trends regarding what goes on and how history is made and came to be could greatly help analyze the stock markets. The knowledge could be applied in examining the history of market trends and how the changes occur.

Information and facts regarding the two artifacts could be easily found on the following humanity resources. The first is the book by Dan Brown called the Da Vinci code, the Figure of Maria Magdalene on the Da Vinci Code, and the book’s eternal chalice by Wood. The similarity between these resources is that they all talk about the above-identified artifacts, which will provide useful information regarding the two artifacts. The difference is that they all give a vivid explanation regarding the artifacts but from different perspectives, making it possible for them to find the other required information. After reading the three books’ synopsis, I realized that I would use them for my work. It was a little tricky to identify the resources since the information found on them are different in their specific perspectives.

I overcame this obstacle by examining the themes and getting a clear understanding of what the question wants. The holy grail was regarded as the divine object in the 12th century (Brown, 2004). This artifact is believed to have come into existence during the time of Jesus. It came into existence when Jesus drank from it during the last supper, which was later used by Joseph of Arimathea to collect Jesus’s blood during His crucifixion. However, the film Da Vinci Code came to existence from a novel published in 2003 by dan brown which talks about the murder of the Louvre which results in a battle between Priory of Sion and Opus Dei and the possibility of Jesus and Mary Magdalene having children (Sabilillah et al., 2020).

The film is also about the holy grail’s quest to encode the code of finding in a painting by Leonardo Da Vinci. The two artifacts are similar concerning the theme, where they all revolve around the mysterious origin of the holy grail. The difference between the two artifacts is that they are of different forms, where one is a physical instrument, and the other is a film production that is only watched (Wood, 2008). The medium of film elicits more emotion than the physical presence of the artifact, given the use of visual and audio effects that sway the audience to feel a specific way. The film also serves as an information bridge where it provides biblical explanations towards the celestial object.While the two artifacts point out symbolism, the Holy Grail in its physical form serves as a unifying factor.

These symbols tell us that the unifying factor portrayed by the holy grail tells us that the artifact is of much value regarding unity among us and the value and importance of information as depicted by the film Da Vinci Code. The creator of the movie Da Vinci Code used literature to pass out information and meaning since it was first written in a novel published in 2003 that was later made into a film. On the other hand, the Holy Grail creator used carvings or sculptures to convey meaning about it.

For this essay, I think the best thesis statement would be the following: the main overlapping theme of both the holy grail and the film Da Vinci Code is mystery and quest for self-discovery. Both artifacts portray these themes to help the audience better understand and guide through the mysterious occurrences in life. This paper’s best audiences are the history students and teachers/tutors with interest in the field of ancient artifacts and their symbolic meaning to society. This theme is essential to students as it helps them relate historical issues/ concepts with the present experience. It will also help them to understand the existing life mysteries and how they came into existence. It will also help the teachers and tutors with important information they will use in their class teachings. The students are likely to benefit from this paper as it will help them in their classwork assignment and historical learning.

For my audience to get the message intended by this paper, the report’s message can be tailored to clear points direct and straight to the topic with self-explanatory and straightforward phrases. The purpose of doing this is to make the message simple and understandable. For example, somebody could highlight a simple explanation of the holy grail as a divine and an ancient object used by Jesus during the Last Supper to explain the origin of the item. Since the top beneficiaries on top of my list as the audience of this paper are students, the tough terminologies used by humanities scholars will need to be toned down and explained in more simple terms to my target audience.

I will have to rephrase the terms and explain in detail the meaning of those terms. The other option in my list is using a glossary for explanation and definitions of challenging and complicated scholar’s terms.  To ensure the target audience gets the message, endnotes will greatly help since the paper’s essential and critical points will be highlighted in the endnotes. Hence saving time and making it easy and enjoyable for learners to get the information is faster.


Brown, D. (2004). The Da Vinci Code (2003). National corps of the Russian language. URL: http://www. ruscorpora. Ru/index. HTML

Burge. G.M. (2006). Christianity Today. Jesus out of Focus.

Duxbury, A. R. (2018). The tyranny of the thesis statement. English Journal97(4), 16.

Sabilillah, P. B., & Sakinah, M. N. (2020). Identification of Denotation Connotation and Myth in The Figure of Maria Magdalene on the Da Vinci Code Dan Brown. Docx. Kajian Linguistik dan Sastra4(2).

Wood, J. (2008). Eternal chalice: the enduring legend of the Holy Grail. Bloomsbury Publishing.




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