With its central character wailing on the heath, tearing at his clothes, and cursing his daughters for his demise, Shakespeare’s King Lear is a moving, if rather troubling, depiction of a man’s decline into old age. Though the monarch is not blameless in his tragedy, the play encourages its viewers to side with him and his eyeless, elderly counterpart, Gloucester. In terms of youth-elder relations, in other words, King Lear is not neutral or disinterested, as Bruce W. Young has envisioned it. “Rather than taking sides in the father-child conflict,” he argues, “the play is in fact remarkably even-handed in depicting both the pain fathers may inflict and the pain they suffer” (49, emphasis added). King Lear and many other contemporary texts found it difficult to maintain this kind of impartiality and instead routinely took sides in generational conflict. The king’s request in his time of need for the gods to “take my part” (2.2.371), i.e., to favor him rather than his children, is answered by the play, which advocates an ideology that keeps elders on top and youth far below. 1