Lear’s palace. Royal residence of King Lear in whose stateroom the play opens. The palace provides a visual contrast with the scenes on the heath, and the setting for the first scene displays Lear at his most powerful. Supported by this environment and invested with the external objects of majesty, Lear can function arbitrarily in the division of his kingdom.
Gloucester’s castle (GLAHS-ter). Residence of the duke of Gloucester, which is the site of two of the most painful scenes in the play–the moments when Lear is rejected by Goneril and Regan, and when Gloucester is blinded. Significantly, the setting is located halfway between the palace of absolute power and the heath of total nothingness.
Fields near Dover. Region in southeastern England, on the edge of the British kingdom, where Gloucester attempts suicide and Lear deteriorates into madness. It is the landing place for Cordelia and the forces that will restore order and justice. These fields are a place of the natural world, where men must deal with themselves as merely “poor, bare, forked animals.”