As I’ve mentioned before, I love Pulp Fiction. This means that, like all other fans of this Tarantino masterpiece, I find myself wondering what is inside the elusive briefcase. Of course, literally there is a lightbulb in the briefcase. However, I want to talk about what the mystical and important artifact in the briefcase.
The most popular fan theory supposes that the briefcase holds the soul of Marsellus Wallace. This brings a fantastical element to the other wise realistic film, and I do not believe it holds up. This theory stems from the idea that Marsellus has a bandage on the back of his neck. Tarantino focuses on that bandage for several minutes, prompting people to believe it is incredibly important. However, Tarantino has come out and said it was just a cool shot and means nothing. Is he just covering for the sake of the mystery, or is their something else in the mysterious briefcase?
As I said, i do not believe the soul theory, however mine is just as fantastical. To begin, we only know a few things about the item in the briefcase. We know that it was in the custody of the three men from the beginning, it is in a briefcase with the combination 666, it glows a yellow light, and it is instantly recognizable. We know the last bit of information because in the final scene when Ringo looks in the briefcase he remarks “Is that what I think it is? So, given all that information what could be in the briefcase? i believe its the Holy Grail.
Now, this might sound like the ravings of an insane person but hear me out. To begin, the combination is 666. This is an obvious reference to the number of the devil, already building the Godly connection. The yellow light and the instantaneous recognition is easily explained, the Holy Grail has been known to glow with divine light and would be easily identified when introduced as an important item. The three men who have it in custody are the largest caveat. Why would three two-bit thieves have the Grail? Well, they are thieves. We are never given information about why they have it, maybe they are only holding it for Marsellus or maybe they stole it off of some adventuring archaeologist.
I scoured the internet again to find anyone who agreed with my theory, and I stumbled on a video from Cracked’s Youtube channel (Video Link) which took the theory one step farther and suggested Pulp Fiction was all an allegory for the story of Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. It proposes Vincent, the “prized hitman”, to be Lancelot, Jules to be Galahad, The Wolf to be Merlin, Marsellus to be Arthur, and Mia to be Guinevere. The video makes some astounding connections and shows off many parallels. In my head, it is all but confirmed that the mysterious object is the Holy Grail.
Again, it is just a theory, but if the boys from Cracked believe it too, it just might hold up.