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The Da Vinci Code | Symbols

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Holy Grail

The Grail is the symbol of the hidden spiritual truth of Christianity. In the novel it is not the cup Jesus used at the Last Supper, as tradition holds. Rather it is something entirely different that would have earth-shattering repercussions in the world if it were revealed: Mary Magdalene, the disciple of Jesus who bore his child. As a symbol of spiritual truth, the Holy Grail also exemplifies the sacred feminine.

Rose

Images of a rose occur throughout the text. Roses appear as engraved symbols, as supposed decorations, and even as directions (the Rose Line) leading to the Grail. The rose is also represented in a more abstract form, such as the pentacle and the Star of David. In all cases the rose refers to the divine feminine, especially to Mary Magdalene.

Blood

The Holy Grail is also called the Sangreal—or bloodline—of Christ. The blood of Christ flows through the children descended from him and Mary Magdalene. Thus blood is a symbol of spiritual truth. Saunière uses his own blood to write vital clues about the Grail on his body before he dies. His blood points at spiritual truth. Silas torments his body with bloodletting, via the cilice and self-flagellation, in an effort to purify himself. His bloodletting and suffering will, he hopes, make him pure enough to find spiritual truth.

Questions for Symbols

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Flashcards for Symbols

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Term:

This push Will cheer me ever or disseat me now. I have lived long enough. My way of life Is fall'n into the sere, the yellow leaf, And that which should accompany old age, As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends, I must not look to have, but in their stead Curses, not loud but deep, mouth-honour, breath Which the poor heart would fain deny and dare not.

Definition:

Macbeth from "Macbeth" (V, iii)

Term:

There is a tide in the affairs of men Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, And we must take the current when it serves, Or lose our ventures.

Definition:

Brutus from "Julius Caesar" (IV, ii)

Term:

It is required You do awake your faith. Then, all stand still. Or those that think it is unlawful business I am about, let them depart.

Definition:

Paulina from "The Winter's Tale" (V, iii)

Term:

Not a whit. We defy augury. There's a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, 'tis not to come. If it be not to come, it will be now. If it be not now, yet it will come. The readiness is all. Since no man has aught of what he leaves, what is't to leave betimes?

Definition:

Hamlet from "Hamlet" (V, ii)

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