Places Discussed

(Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)


*London. England’s capital and largest city. While most of the play’s scenes are set at the various London homes of its characters, Jonson does little to give symbolic significance to most settings. The actions that take place in such settings are conventional: For example, Knowell’s home is a refuge from the dangers (both physical and moral) of London society, while the Windmill Tavern is a place of lusty intrigue and low-life braggadocio. Scenes set outdoors suggest that the London streets were places where people of every walk of life might pass and even exchange pleasantries without violating social norms associated with the class structure prevalent at the time.

Clement house

Clement house. London home of the ebullient, jovial eccentric Justice Clement, and the one place that has special thematic significance in the play. Like many of his contemporaries, Jonson ends his comedy by suggesting some restoration of the social order, setting aright the machinations and plots of his characters. It is not surprising that the final act takes place at the house of Justice Clement. As his name suggests, this official is a man who passes judgment with both justice and mercy. Hence, it is fitting that his home becomes a visible symbol of the well-ordered society.