“For Noble Britons Sprong From Trojans Bold”

Omeros, Mimicry, and New Troy


  • Natalie Whitaker


Derek Walcott’s twentieth-century poem Omeros melds multi-layered mimicry with subtle references to the medieval English myth of “New Troy,” providing a complex example of multicultural hybridity that undermines and deconstructs a notion of imperial right that has been part of English identity for a thousand years. The New Troy myth originated to gain national and imperial authenticity, just like the colonial mimicry of which Homi Bhabha writes. In this article, I review the history of the New Troy myth to show how it is an example of Bhabha’s conceptualization of mimicry and to underscore the ways it has influenced the English imperial mission. I then apply this analysis to the three distinct narrative threads in Omeros that reflect various levels of mimicry as part of developing the identities of individual characters and the post-colonial Caribbean island of St. Lucia.