The Da Vinci Code

by Dan Brown

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Chapters 51-60 Summary

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Chapter 51
Chapter Characters:
Robert Langdon
Sophie Neveu

Chapter Summary:
As they search for a safe place, and Sophie tries to decipher the cryptex, Langdon realizes they need help, and decides to take them to visit Sir Leigh Teabing, a wealthy British Grail historian living in France.

Chapter Themes:
The human world is encoded with meaning.
The influence of the past upon the present.

Chapter 52
Chapter Characters:
Robert Langdon
Sophie Neveu

Chapter Summary:
When they arrive at Chateau Villette, they must answer three questions at the gate to be allowed to pass. While these are delivered in a joking fashion, they serve as a ritual inquisition of their worthiness.

Chapter Themes:
The human world is encoded with meaning.

Chapter 53
Chapter Characters:
Andre Vernet

Chapter Summary:
Vernet calls the Night Manager at the bank. The manager activates a hidden transponder on the armored truck to allow Vernet to track it down.

Chapter Themes:
The human world is encoded with meaning.
The influence of the past upon the present.

Chapter 54
Chapter Characters:
Robert Langdon
Sophie Neveu
Sir Leigh Teabing
Remy Legaludec

Chapter Summary:
At the castle Sophie and Langdon hide the cryptex, then meet Sir Leigh Teabing, who walks in on leg braces and crutches.

Chapter Themes:
The human world is encoded with meaning.
The influence of the past upon the present.

Chapter 55
Chapter Characters:
Robert Langdon
Sophie Neveu
Sir Leigh Teabing

Chapter Summary:
Teabing explains the meaning of the Holy Grail to Sophie. As he does, Teabing points Sophie to lines from Da Vinci's journals:

"Many have made a trade of delusions
and false miracles, deceiving the stupid multitude."
"Blinding ignorance does mislead us.
O! Wretched mortals, open your eyes!"

Teabing argues that these lines indicate Da Vinci and others objected to the lies in the Bible. Teabing then retells the history of the Church as a history of deception (telling outright lies) and conversion of pre-existing religious practices and symbols for its own purposes. He then walks Sophie through a viewing of Da Vinci's The Last Supper, pointing out that the Holy Grail can't be the cup Jesus and the disciples shared there because there were many cups at the table. Instead, "The Holy Grail is not a thing. It is, in fact…a person."

Chapter Themes:
The human world is encoded with meaning.
The centrality of human relationships, especially male-female relationships.
The influence of the past upon the present.

Chapter 56
Chapter Characters:
Robert Langdon
Sophie Neveu
Sir Leigh Teabing
Remy Legaludec

Chapter Summary:
Teabing walks Sophie through the meaning of basic symbols. ^ stands for male, and V for female, due to the shapes of their respective genitals. The V becomes a chalice, to represent the womb. The chapter ends with Teabing guiding Langdon and Sophie to see Da Vinci's painting of the woman who is the Holy Grail, "A woman who carried with her a secret so powerful that, if revealed, it threatened to devastate the very foundation of Christianity!"

As he does so, his servant Remy Legaludec is watching television, and sees a broadcast about Langdon and Sophie.

Chapter Themes:
The human world is encoded with meaning.
The centrality of human relationships, especially male-female relationships.
The power of belief, and the need to believe.

Chapter 57
Chapter Characters:
Silas, the albino monk
Jerome Collet

Chapter Summary:
Lieutenant Collet receives a tip from the Bank of Zurich telling him where Sophie and Langdon are. As he heads for Chateau Villette, Silas sneaks up outside.

Chapter Themes:
The human world is encoded with meaning.
The power of belief, and the need to...

(This entire section contains 955 words.)

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believe.

Chapter 58
Chapter Characters:
Robert Langdon
Sophie Neveu
Sir Leigh Teabing

Chapter Summary:
Teabing explains The Last Supper to Sophie, arguing that the figure seated to the right of Jesus, "at the place of honor," is Mary Magdalene. Teabing claims that "The Church needed to defame Mary Magdalene in order to cover up her dangerous secret—her role as the Holy Grail." He says that she was not a prostitute, but rather Jesus's wife, and that "Not only was Jesus Christ married, but He was a father." The chapter ends with Teabing arguing that the name of the Holy Grail—Sangreal—actually means "Sang Real." Sophie realizes that "Sang Real literally meant Royal Blood," which convinces her that the Grail really does mean the blood of Christ: his family lineage.

Chapter Themes:
The human world is encoded with meaning.
The centrality of human relationships, especially male-female relationships.
The influence of the past upon the present.

Chapter 59
Chapter Characters:
Bishop Aringarosa

Chapter Summary:
Bishop Aringarosa calls Opus Dei headquarters in New York, asking if there were any messages. There was one, which he expects to be from the Teacher, but which is from the French police.

Chapter Themes:
The human world is encoded with meaning.
The influence of the past upon the present.

Chapter 60
Chapter Characters:
Robert Langdon
Sophie Neveu
Sir Leigh Teabing
Remy Legaludec

Chapter Summary:
Back at Chateau Villette, Teabing explains the history of the Grail more fully, saying that the pregnant Mary Magdalene fled at the time of the crucifixion. She was protected by Jews, and gave birth to her daughter Sarah in France. Teabing then argues that the search for the Grail is actually a search for Mary Magdalene 's tomb, which will contain documents telling her story. He also argues that the Priory had another duty: to protect the bloodline of the Holy Grail, which led into the Merovingians, who founded Paris.

As Sophie is speculating about what this means to her, Teabing's servant Remy interrupts them.

Chapter Themes:
The human world is encoded with meaning.
The centrality of human relationships, especially male-female relationships.
The power of belief, and the need to believe.
The influence of the past upon the present.

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Chapters 61-70 Summary