Incredulity toward Heroism: Ackroyd as a Gallant Storyteller against the Heroic Tradition


  • Nazan Yıldız Karadeniz Technical University, Trabzon, Türkiye



Peter Ackroyd, The Fall of Troy, postmodernism, heroism, metanarrative, parody


Heroism as an unremitting subject conquers and even haunts literature as well as history. Historical and fictitious heroes are guiding spirits of human beings regardless of time and geography. Historians and writers have so sternly adhered to the ideals of heroism that this fascination has been transformed into hero worship dating back to antiquity, bringing heroism to the forefront as a metanarrative in history and literature. Particularly contributing to the undying predicament of literature caught between the ideal and the real, causes of heroism have been largely left unquestioned putting heroes in the shoes of a messiah. Peter Ackroyd (1949-), renowned for his historiographic metafictions fashioned within postmodernism, dares to challenge this unimpeached -ism in The Fall of Troy (2006). In the novel, Ackroyd rewrites the history of Troy and introduces an eccentric half-real hero, Heinrich Obermann, against celebrated heroes of history and literature. Accordingly, this paper reads heroism as a metanarrative and delineates how Ackroyd sketches an atypical hero by acting contrary to traditional heroism and heroic literary tradition in his vibrant postmodern parody, The Fall of Troy.

Author Biography

Nazan Yıldız, Karadeniz Technical University, Trabzon, Türkiye

Nazan Yıldız is an Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at Karadeniz Technical University, Türkiye. She holds a PhD in English literature from Hacettepe University, Türkiye (2015), and a certificate in critical thinking skills from the American English Institute, University of Oregon. Her main areas of interest are Medieval English Literature, Chaucer, Old English Literature, the English Novel, Gender Studies, and Critical Thinking and Literature.


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How to Cite

Yıldız, N. (2023). Incredulity toward Heroism: Ackroyd as a Gallant Storyteller against the Heroic Tradition. English Studies at NBU, 9(2), 207–224.