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- Pollock has labeled Lizzie’s re-enactment of the 1892 murder ten years prior as the “dream thesis.” The play avoids realism and defies logical time progression. There aren’t clear entrances and exits. The actors weave in and out of the present and past. There are three real characters on stage, Lizzie, the Actress, and sister Emma. The others are pulled up from the memories of the 1892 event. This gives the scenes with Borden, his wife, Harry, and Dr. Patrick a hazy, hallucinatory quality; they are the ghosts of Lizzie’s memory.
- The flashbacks are not played in a straightforward fashion. Events from the present, the trial, and the days leading up to the murder are jumbled together—representative of the randomness of dreams and memories. The play's earnest ambiguity increases when Lizzie proposes playing a game in which the Actress will play her, Lizzie. Some observers consider this a sustained stylistic attempt; others merely find it clotting and cloying.
- Historical context: Lizzie Borden
- Historical context: the murder and trial
- Historical context: women’s rights
- Production history
- Critics' response