Felix Randal Gerard Manley Hopkins Felix Randal the farrier, O is he dead then? my duty all ended, Who have watched his mould of man, big-boned and hardyhandsome Pining, pining, till time when reason rambled in it, and some Fatal four disorders, fleshed there, all contended? Sickness broke him. Impatient, he cursed at first, but mended Being anointed and all; though a heavenlier heart began some Months earlier, since I had our sweet reprieve and ransom Tendered to him. Ah well, God rest him all road ever he offended! This seeing the sick endears them to us, us too it endears. My tongue had taught thee comfort, touch had quenched thy tears, Thy tears that touched my heart, child, Felix, poor Felix Randal; How far from then forethought of, all thy more boisterous years, When thou at the random grim forge, powerful amidst peers, Didst fettle for the great grey dray horse his bright and battering sandal! Gerard Manley Hopkins
Born 28 July 1844 died 8 June 1889 he was an English poet, who converted to Catholicism, and became a Jesuit priest. His manipulation of prosody (the rhythm and pattern of poetry and language) and his use of imagery established him as an innovative writer of religious verse. Born in Stratford, Essex (now in Greater London) He was the first of nine children to Manley and Catherine (Smith) Hopkins. He was christened at the Anglican church of St John's, Stratford. In July 1866, whilst studying at Oxford, he decided to become a Roman Catholic, and was received into the Roman Catholic Church on 21 October 1866. Gerard Manley Hopkins The decision to convert estranged him from both his family and a number of his acquaintances. After his graduation in 1867, Hopkins was provided with a teaching post at the Oratory in Birmingham. May 1868 Hopkins firmly "resolved to be a religious." less than a week later he felt the call to enter the ministry and decided to become a Jesuit. The sonnet "Felix Randal" was probably written in the late 1870s, Hopkins then in his mid thirties. At that time he was a parish priest of the Roman Catholic church in Liverpool. He served in various parishes in England and Scotland.
Background: Felix Randal is a sonnet with an Italian or Petrarchan rhyme scheme (abba, abba, ccd, ccd); It was published in 1918, even though it was written in 1880. The title character is known from extrinsic evidence to have been a thirty-one-year-old blacksmith named Felix Spencer, who died of pulmonary tuberculosis. Father Gerard Manley Hopkins, while a curate( priest) in a slum parish in Liverpool, visited him often, administered the last sacraments, and officiated at his funeral. The poem is largely romantic self-expression. There is little or no ironic separation between the I (the speaker within the poem) and the author (the historical Hopkins outside the poem), so the I may be taken as a Roman Catholic priest reflecting on the news of Randals death. Summary: In "Felix Randal" Hopkins (the parish priest) mourns the death of a parishioner, a village blacksmith. He writes about the man's death; talks about his fatal illness(es); expresses pity about his death In the climax he contrasts the weak, sick, dying Felix Randal with his former self: Strong and proud doing very physical demanding work (making iron shoes for the hoofs of carthorses) that
Hopkins regards this works as something mythic, almost divine, the creating with metal and fire. Summary: Living in the Liverpool slums, the scholar Hopkins was as out of his comfort zone (the university and the seminary) as Felix Randal was from his (the forge) when he lay in his sickbed. The fact that these two men were out of their natural habitat is what brings the two men together in a totally unpredictable friendshipHow far from then forethought ofand a deep religious relationship of father and child, Tiny Father Hopkins, barely five feet tall and scarcely a hundred pounds. child Felix, poor Felix Randal, the giant blacksmith slowly dyeing. Blacksmith whose main job is the shoeing of horses. A very physically demanding career. Size or
shap e The priests work with the man is ended because of the mans death. Felix Randal the farrier, O is he dead then? my duty all ended, Who have watched his mould of man, big-boned and Large, hardypowerful and handsome good looking Pining, pining, till time when reason insome a rugged He wasrambled so ill that in he it, and He has been way Fatal four disorders, all contended? became
delirious, or Wasting fleshed there, present and watching how the sickness has changed the dead man. away, but could also mean yearning for a time that is past there is no reason for this disease This could be an reference to the four humours which were believed to have ruled the body: blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm. This once powerful
man is no longer functioning and has been broken by this illness. He could not come to terms with being ill and was very frustrated in the way that the illness was impacting on his life because he had never been seriously ill before. He began to accept his mortality and started making preparatio first, but ns to meet his maker a while heart began before his
death. Sickness broke him. Impatient, he cursed at mended Being anointed and all; though a heavenlier some Months earlier, since I had our sweet reprieve and Having received Eucharist, known God look after ransom as "Viaticum". The his soul. TheAh priest had given himhim all road Tendered to him. well, God rest ever he
sacrament to all that was necessary to offended! dying. help his soul return to heaven. Reprieve = escape from hell. Ransom = taking advantage of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. He has given the dying man the comfort and solace through the words he has spoken.
Seeing the sick and coming in constant contact with them helps us to feel compassion towards them and at times a love. But this is not all, in this process we become better people and we are endeared towards God and those around us. We become more loved by those around us. This seeing the sick endears them to us, us too it endears. My tongue had taught thee comfort, touch had His physical quenched thy tears, comforting onlythat has touched he given my heart, child, Felix, poor Felix Thy Not tears has helped comfort but through the stop the Look how the language Randal; process his heart has
been touched. has changed the perspective. The powerful farrier is now almost child-like in his dependence to those who are taking care of him. mans tears. To organise and get ready for (archaic use). In this case he is making shoes to fit the horse. How far The man that he seeing is nothing like the man who was young and strong and happy. The new iron shoes for the horse
from then forethought of, all thy more boisterous years, When thou at the random grim forge, powerful amidst peers, When he was healthy he was A powerful Didst fettle for the great grey that dray horse his bright and working at the forge, which was horse battering sandal! a hot and like hell in many ways. was used In this environment he was the strongest amongst all these
strong men. for carting heavy loads Questions: 1. What is being discussed in the octet? (2) 2. What is being discussed in the sestet? How does this differ from the octet? (4) 3. Discuss the relationship between these two men. Refer closely to the text to substantiate your answer. (4) 4. Discuss the tone of the poem. (3) 5. What is meant in line 9? (2) 6. What is the poet saying at the end of line 11? (3) 7. How does the poet contrast the two Felixs in the last 3 lines of the sonnet? (4)
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