Places Discussed

(Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)


*London. Capital city of England that provides the world in which the play is set—a world of coffeehouses, periwigs, and elaborately formal dress. It is an upper-class world of gallants and fine ladies, as opposed to would-be gallants and merely attractive ladies. The world of trade and agriculture surrounds this world but is not a part of it except by way of contrast.


Chocolate-house. Setting for act 1. Such houses as Will’s near Covent Garden and White’s near St. James Park were the fashionable meeting places of young gallants and wits. Often gaming was associated with them.

*St. James Park

*St. James Park. Large park in central London in whose fashionable Mall act 2 is set. The Mall was a long tract in St. James that was formerly used for playing pall-mall. It is often confused with Pall Mall, another park close by to the north.


Country. Although no scene in the play occurs in the country, the country is always in the background. Sir Wilful Witwoud is a country bumpkin who serves as the butt of ridicule for all. His half brother, Witwoud, has done all he can to eradicate traces of the country from his manners, dress, and speech but without success. No character in the play is associated in a positive way with the country. Millamant, perhaps the most regular character in the play, loathes the country.