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KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS
Most of the action of the play takes place in Paris in the middle seventeenth century. The first act is set in a public theatre, the Hôtel de Bourgogne, which is frequented by a representative cross section of Parisian society, ranging from the aristocratic class to the lower-classed and anti-social elements. The second act is set in the bakery of the pastry cook/poet, Ragueneau. The bakery, which is located in the central part of Paris on Rue St. Honoré, next to the Palais Royal, serves as a meeting place of poets. Act III is a street scene outside Roxane's old house in the Marais quarter of Paris, where Roxane's balcony becomes a focal point of attention. Act IV moves to the outskirts of Paris, to the besieged town of Arras, in Flanders. The action takes place where the regiment of the Gascon cadets is camping. Act V takes place fifteen years later, in Paris, in the garden of the convent of the Ladies of the Cross.