Ysangrin the wolf’s den. Scene of the adultery of Reynard and Hersent, a dark and private place that provides an ideal setting for animals to imitate the conduct of humans. Courtly love and its rules of privacy and secrecy are satirized in this episode.
Reynard the fox’s den. Place with the characteristics of an actual fox’s den. It has openings large enough for a fox to enter and exit but not big enough to accommodate a larger animal. Its size and shape enable the author to write a farcical scene in which Hersent, caught at the entrance, is raped by Reynard, who insists he was trying to extricate her.
Maupertuis (moh-pehr-TWEE). Reynard’s dwelling tends to have features of both castle and den. It appears to be a castle, but sometimes means of entry and exit are more those of a den. Maupertuis is strong and impenetrable. Here Noble lays siege to Reynard after the fox escapes punishment at his trial. Maupertuis is surrounded by forest. Noble, who has brought his queen, Fière, with him, has encamped his army amid the trees. By combining animal and human attributes of his characters, the author creates an amusing scene in which Reynard ties Noble and his courtiers by their tails to the trees and then rapes Fière in full view.
Battlefield. This setting occasions the parody of the Chanson de Geste. The field is soon strewn with mutilated bodies. The exploits of Noble and his warriors are described with the exaggeration and excess characteristic of the heroic poems of the period.
Well. Typical well from which water is drawn by the use of buckets. In this tale Reynard saves himself and makes a fool of Ysangrin by using the bucket mechanism. The humor of the episode is derived from the two animals mistaking their reflections in the well for real creatures and consequently becoming trapped.
Barnyards. The various barnyards containing hen houses and guard dogs instigate several episodes of trickery and pursuit. Although the animals speak in these tales, they remain animals.
Forests. Places for hunting in which predators and prey meet, and characters consistently try to do each other harm. The humor of the episodes is created by the ill that befalls the animals as they encounter traps, human hunters, and other predators.