by william shakespeare
An aged and crazed king gives away his kingdom to his eldest, deceitful daughters, resulting in his death, and the deaths of several other characters. Parallel to the main plot, Edmund, the illegitimate son of the Earl of Gloucester, sets his father against his half brother, Edgar, and overthrows his father in the process. Those who have done wrong ultimately die, and the kingdom ends up in the hands of Edgar.
A mother speaks to her son, reminding him of the difficulties she faced in life and shares sage advice about not giving up. She tells him that as she has chosen to persevere despite a difficult life, her son is able to do the same.
The most apparent connection between the poem and the book is that they both describe a relationship between a parent and child. For both works, although the parent and child love each other dearly, they come across various trials in life. King Lear presents the faults that a parent or child could have, then connects to the poem through the love between the parent and child that shines through in the end. Although King Lear and Cordelia’s relationship was damaged in the beginning, it was restored near the end of the play before Cordelia died. A metaphor is used in this poem that compares the mother’s life to a worn staircase. This literary device is significant because it is a visual representation of the mother’s worn, hard and not-so-perfect life. However, despite the mother having such a hard life, the metaphor also shows how the mother is still willing to encourage her son to never give up in life.