Oil on canvas, size 29 x 36.5 inches, Private collection.
In Act III, Scene i, of Twelfth Night Viola, disguised as a young man Cesario, once again comes to the Countess Olivia to press the suit of his master, the Duke Orsino. But Olivia is smitten with Cesario and declares her love for the young "man":
Cesario, by the roses of the spring,
Viola looks off, embarrassed, confused, and pondering the fine mess her disguise has created. She already know this, of course, for earlier when she had an inkling of Olivia's feelings she said, "Disguise, I see thou art a wickedness / Wherein the pregnant enemy does much." But true to the spirit of this comedy, she concludes, "O Time, thou must untangle this, not I; / It is too hard a knot for me t' untie" (II. ii).
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