Felix Randal By Gerard Manley Hopkins Summary & Analysis

Felix Randal
Felix Randal

Summary of Felix Randal

Hopkins through his sonnet Felix Randal sketches images of extended illness and death of a farrier called Felix Randal. The speaker observes that the ‘big-boned and hardy-handsome’ man had reduced and declined to ‘some fatal four disorder.’ As a man’s body is overtaken by aggravating illness, he loses his sense of perception and reasoning. Being a priest the poet then moves on to the subject of spiritual healing. The irony of a physically strong man giving into an ailment is very focused here. Felix goes through extreme suffering before he succumbs to death. During this point of suffering there’s a mutual bond formed between the healer and therefore the healed. A bond of trust and compassionate care is made. Through kindness and empathy, the priest is in a position to heal the sufferer’s soul, which successively becomes the explanation for the former’s salvation. The word “us” within the poem puts stress on the mutuality of the bond.

‘My tongue had taught thee comfort, touch had quenched thy tears,

Thy tears that touched my heart, child, Felix, poor Felix Randal;’

Though the priest isn’t ready to heal Randal physically, the previous is in a position to supply the latter with a mental peace in his final moments within the deathbed. The death of his long-suffering companion left a deep imprint on the priest’s life also. While comforting him, the priest too is in a position to seek out his path of salvation and internal peace. Both seek the Lord’s forgiveness and at the top, the farrier willingly accepts his fate and places his life within the hands of the Lord.

Critical Analysis of Felix Randal


Felix Randal may be a Petrarchan or a Petrarchan sonnet of romantic self-expression. Each line forms four self-contained statements. The speaker of the poem are often considered as a Roman Catholic priest who is dwelling upon the news of the death of Felix Randal.

The first quatrain deals with the news of the death of a blacksmith named Felix Randal. we will find an intense similarity between the lives of Randal and therefore the poet himself. the primary two stanzas are written within the sort of an indoor monologue, wherein the speaker’s thoughts are laid aloud within the sort of a conscious recollection. The lines reflect on the realization dawned upon the speaker about the eventual end of the dutiful visit to the sick Randal and witnessing his degradation from a rigorous individual to someone sick from four ailments. The recollections are sad until road 9 which then gradually shifts to a private cry of loss, offering a picture of the dead mate enjoying the short prime years of his life.

Then the poet moves on to focus upon the speaker’s state of mind on taking care of diseased person. The affectionate gratitude he receives and therefore the incontrovertible fact that he’s doing something worthwhile are the 2 reasons that keep him going. The priest fondly recollects the sooner years spent in vigor by the farrier which is so different from his situation during his sickness. there’s attention on the healing relationship between the priest and therefore the sick person- how they intimately hook up with each other and the way the priest is in a position to spiritually hook up with the ache of the sick.

The tone of Felix Randal

The poem may be found also of a painful recollection of a dead person’s life by a priest who initially witnessed his prime years then had to lend a hand during the suffering person’s last days. there’s a gradual shift from a grim atmosphere to fond remembrance. there’s slight of internal peace attained and therefore the solace the sufferer finds in such a situation also because of the mental liberation attained by the priest who attends him.

Central Idea of Felix Randal

The poem is all about the relation between a spiritual healer and therefore the sufferer- how both complement each other within the act of achieving salvation. The knowledge of grotesque end fated for even the strong men is conveyed through the pictures of the fateful death of the farrier. The role of a healer within the lifetime of a sufferer is stressed throughout as an extended-lasting companionship.



The individualistic poem Felix Randal may be a representation of Romanticism through its theme, tone, and feel. The Victorian poetry are often categorized into a spiritual theme too. Hopkins tries to reveal truths through nature, which points at the usage of Pre-Raphaelitism effects within the poem. Spiritual healing may be a two-way process unlike the way it’s understood normally. Through the characters of the priest and therefore the farrier alongside the pictures of their mutual affection, one can clearly comprehend the meaning and effects of their bond in each other’s life. The acceptance of fate and wilfully giving into death allows a man’s soul to rest within the ultimate peace.