*Genoa. Northwestern Italian city-state and mercantile center around whose palace and court of Duke Altofronto the play centers. Within the palace building only the duchess’s bedchamber has special significance, for its sexual intrigues and adulterous relationships. Marston never shows the inside of the bedroom, only its outside. At its door, the young courtier Ferneze is stabbed, so though sexuality is promised, only violence is delivered. However, the general atmosphere is one of promiscuity; the lack of borders in the staging reinforces this.
Citadel. At some location near the Palace lies the citadel, in which Maria lies imprisoned through most of the drama. Act 5, scene 2 presumably takes place there, though this is never stated as such. The citadel symbolizes the chastity of the duke’s wife, Maria, which has a stronghold even in a corrupt court, thereby making some sort of comic resolution possible.
Countryside. A hunting scene in act 3 is the only other scene not taking place in court. Hunting is a feature of tragicomedy, derived from the pastoral, but here denoting the sexual chase.
*Florence. Powerful city-state in north-central Italy that was a rival of Genoa. Although no scene in the play is set there, the duke of Florence is a manipulative force in the play; he helps usurp Altofronto and through Bilioso seeks to reinstate him. Florence therefore represents a rival power base and the source of a complicating corruption.