Introduction & Overview of The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

This Study Guide consists of approximately 74 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Da Vinci Code.
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The Da Vinci Code Summary & Study Guide Description

The Da Vinci Code Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading and a Free Quiz on The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.

The Da Vinci Code became one of the first notable international literary events of the twenty-first century as soon as it was published in early 2003. It is a fast-paced thriller involving Harvard professor of religious symbology Robert Langdon, who must solve a murder mystery before he is arrested for the murder himself. While the plot moves along rapidly, the narrative and dialogue slow down briefly at times to explore weighty issues and consider controversial questions. Was Jesus married to Mary Magdalene? Did early Christian leaders attempt to suppress her significance? Did Constantine the Great and the Council of Nicaea establish the divinity of Jesus Christ in 325 A.D.? Was Leonardo da Vinci one of the "keepers of the secret of the Holy Grail," as Leigh Teabing, the historian scholar, declares? Did he encode his art with symbols that suggested a Christian history far different from the one with which we are familiar? Though fictional characters raise these questions, Brown, in interviews about his novel, generated much debate by defending the possibility that Christian history has been carefully and artificially constructed. When asked in an interview what he would change if he were writing the book as nonfiction rather than fiction, for example, Brown replied he would change nothing.

Religious leaders, Christian scholars, historians, and media figures reacted strongly to Brown's novel. In 2004, it was banned from Lebanon when Catholic leaders protested against its content. In 2005, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone publicly responded to the claims of the novel, which he called "a castle of lies." A series of reactionary books bent on disproving the novel's theories emerged, and documentaries exploring the controversies it brings out were aired on networks from ABC to the History Channel. As of 2005, Columbia Pictures was developing the film adaptation, directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, and Ian McKellen, to be released in 2006.

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