‘King Lear’ written by Shakespeare examines the protagonist, king Lear, who has experiences the tragic ending due to his disease of madness, which it has similarity with ‘Tuesday with Morrie’ written by Mitch Albom, the protagonist, Morrie, who has the deadly disease ALS and his body keep losing control as the story goes deep. The main character in ‘Tuesday with Morrie’ and ‘King Lear’ both face Cruel living condition, it teaches them lessons and acquire wisdom. Although both men have different understanding of life, Morrie always pursue family and love, but King Lear only pursue the dignity as a self-enhance. Morrie is willing to accept death at any moment and he thinks the death is natural. It’s unlike King Lear, he regard his decision, he gives his kingdom to his daughters, but he still wants to live as a king. Although both characters have the different personality and belief in the beginning of the story, they both come to acquire wisdom by experiencing death. They are relevant due to the fact that they both get diseases, someone help them out of poor situation, and their ‘disease’ and death benefit others.
In the ‘King Lear’, Lear loses his kingdom and loses his three daughters at end due to the disease; madness. For example, he curses his eldest daughter Goneril ‘Into her womb convey sterility! Dry up in her the organs of increase’ (Shakespeare 34) and talk to the ‘god’ in the storm while his second daughter Regan cast him out of the castle, It’s unnatural that a person curses his own daughter cannot give birth to the baby, The madness causes him lose control of sanity and eventually led him to the death path. It’s similar to the Morrie, he got the unexpectly ALS and suffering from the muscle contraction. Both protagonist suffer from the disease and eventually died in the ending, but Morrie has polar opposite personality compare to the king Lear, he accept the death initially and he wants to live his life fullest. As he says ‘love each other or perish’ (Mitch 149) it shows that will life will be meaningless without love life for him. Morrie lost his mother and doesn’t have a complete family when he was young, which was why he emphasized the importance of love and family. In other words, although both main characters died due to the disease, but their view of life are extremely different initially, Morrie is more pursue on psychological needs, while King Lear is more pursue on Physical needs.
While King Lear faces the downfall movement, there are lots of people out him to get out of his current bad situation, such as, fool support him as a mother to the child, he always with Lear in the play until the new supporter, Edgar. For example, fool says that ‘leave his horns without a case’ (Shakespeare 38) fool becomes wise and teach King Lear lesson throughout the downfall movement. It’s like Morrie, his student, Mitch, knows that his professor has the ALS, he decides to be with Morrie in the remainder of his life even their relationship isn’t close, Mitch is willing to help Morrie to make an autobiography, they meet each other and discuss about their life, love, friends, and family on every Tuesday. Both characters has someone helped them out of poor situation.
Although the King Lear and Morrie have a tragic ending, but it also brings the benefit to the other, for instance,
‘The weight of this sad time we must obey.
Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.
The oldest hath borne most. We that are young
Shall never see so much, nor live so long.'(Shakespeare 145)
He says that we must remember this day. We should speak what we feel, not what we should say. The oldest people suffer the most. Younger people will never experience or seen as much as oldest people. Edgar has learned the meaning of life and lesson through King Lear’s life experience, he learns how to be a wise person. It’s similar to the Mitch, Mitch learned lessons as he meets Morrie on the every ‘Tuesday’ (Mitch 45) that he promises Morrie, and he learns the meaning of life. He learns that ‘there is no such thing as ‘too late’ (Mitch 191) in life. Morrie teaches him live the life fullest. Mitch and fool place as an essential supporting role in the story, it supports and completes the story plot throughout the whole story.
In conclusion, both story are similar due to the fact that they both got diseases, someone help them out of poor situation, and their ‘disease’ and death benefit others. However, both main characters has polar opposite view of life initially, it teaches them lessons and acquire true wisdom by experiencing death.