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Robert Langdon
Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon.JPG
Actor Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon
First appearance Angels & Demons
Created by Dan Brown
Portrayed by Tom Hanks
Information
Gender Male
Title Professor of religious iconography and symbology
Relatives Howard Langdon (great-grandfather)

Robert Langdon (born June 22, 1964 in Exeter, New Hampshire, United States) is a fictional professor of religious iconology and symbology at Harvard University, created by author Dan Brown for the novels Angels & Demons (2000), The Da Vinci Code (2003) and The Lost Symbol (2009).

Tom Hanks portrayed Robert Langdon in the 2006 film adaptation of The Da Vinci Code, and reprised the role in the 2009 film adaptation of Angels & Demons.

Contents

Character development

The character was created by Dan Brown as a fictional alter ego of himself or "the man he wishes he could be". Brown himself was born June 22, 1964 in Exeter, New Hampshire, and the fictional Langdon is described as having been born on June 22, also in Exeter, and attending the same school as Brown did, Phillips Exeter Academy. Brown named the character after John Langdon,[1] a professor of typography at Drexel University who is known for his creation of ambigrams, typographical designs that can be read in multiple ways; for example, both right side up and upside down. An example of Langdon's ambigrams appeared on the cover of the first edition of Brown’s novel Angels & Demons, and other ambigrams featured throughout that novel were also designed by Langdon. On the acknowledgments page, Brown calls Langdon "one of the most ingenious and gifted artists alive … who rose brilliantly to my impossible challenge and created the ambigrams for this novel". John Langdon also created the logo for the fictional Depository Bank of Zurich, which appears in The Da Vinci Code film.

Storyline

Robert Langdon (born June 22, 1964 in Exeter, New Hampshire, United States) is described as looking like "Harrison Ford in Harris tweed",[2] with his standard attire being a turtleneck, Harris Tweed jacket, khakis, and collegiate cordovan loafers, which he wears to all events, from lectures to social events.[3] A frequently referred to accessory, is his Mickey Mouse watch, a gift from his parents on his ninth birthday.[4]

Langdon was a diver at Phillips Exeter Academy in prep school and played water polo at Princeton University where he went for college. He suffers from claustrophobia, the fear of enclosed spaces, as he fell into a well when he was 7 years old. His father died when he was 16, and his new mentor father-figure became Peter Solomon,[5] Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.[6]

Known for a brilliant problem-solving mind and his genius, Langdon has an eidetic memory and an understanding of semiotics. As professor at Harvard University, he teaches Religious Iconology and (the fictional field) Symbology. Langdon also mentioned he was raised a Catholic but that he will never understand God and also said that faith is a gift he has yet to receive.

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Angels and Demons

Robert Langdon is called to CERN headquarters in Switzerland to find out about the religious symbological implications of the death of CERN's finest and most well known scientist, Leonardo Vetra. When he starts to investigate the murder, his obsession for the subject history comes into play. Langdon is later joined in the investigation by Vittoria Vetra (Leonardo's daughter) and they start their journey to the Vatican to unlock the mystery behind the Illuminati,[7] an anti-Catholic secret society which, according to the plot, has deeply infiltrated many global institutions, political, economical and religious. Langdon and Vetra solve the mystery of the Illuminati by following the Path of Illumination[8] and in so doing to explain the disappearances of four Cardinals during a papal conclave, the murder of Leonardo Vetra, and the theft of antimatter (a substance that can be used for mass destruction). At the end of the novel Langdon ends up having a relationship with Vittoria Vetra. In the last few sentences of Angels and Demons, Vittoria Vetra asks him if he has ever had a divine experience. When he replies in the negative, Vittoria strips and quips, "You've never been to bed with a yoga master, have you?" Their relationship, however, is only mentioned briefly in The Da Vinci Code, mentioning the fact that Langdon had last seen Vittoria a year previously.

The Da Vinci Code

In the beginning of 2003's The Da Vinci Code, Robert Langdon is in Paris to give a lecture on his work. Having made an appointment to meet with Jacques Saunière, the curator of the Louvre, he is startled to find the French police at his hotel room door. They inform him that Saunière has been murdered and they would like his immediate assistance at the Louvre to help them solve the crime. Unknown to Langdon, he is in fact the prime suspect in the murder and has been summoned to the scene of the crime so that the police may extract a confession from him. While he is in the Louvre, he meets Sophie Neveu, a young Cryptologist from the DCPJ. When Langdon and Sophie get the chance to talk in private, he finds out that Jacques Saunière is her grandfather. Saunière instructs Sophie to 'Find Robert Langdon', according to the message he left for her in the floor, therefore, Sophie believes he is innocent of her grandfather's murder.

He spends the rest of the novel dodging the police and trying to solve the mystery of a secret ancient society which was led by Leonardo da Vinci himself, the Priory of Sion. At the end of the novel, Langdon uncovers the mystery behind Mary Magdalene and the Holy Grail also called San greal. He also seems to fall in love with Sophie Neveu at the end of the book and they agree to meet again in a month.

The Lost Symbol

In The Lost Symbol, Robert Langdon has an adventure in Washington D.C. with the concept of the Masons. Tricked into visiting the nation's capitol, Robert Langdon spends twelve hours racing through the monuments and buildings of the forefathers, searching for the truth in the secret society of the Masons. Behind new doors lies secrets that threaten to change the way people view science and politics, with Robert Langdon acting as the last line of defense.

References

External links


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