One of the contextual resources at the back of the book, Heart, Soul and Genitalia, explains the early modern concept of erotic desire. While we may see the characters in Twelfth Night experiencing eroticism in and of itself, the Shakespearian idea of eroticism allows for separation of attraction to an internal and external image. The soul was imagined as three fold: rational, sensing and living, which are represented by each set of three figures. I depicted Orsino and Olivia as their own “internal” images, whereas Viola wears the disguise of Cesario separate from her own identity. Viola is trapped by the knot of confused identities and affections only she is aware is forming.
My rendition of these lines presents information that the reader would already be aware of at this point, but loses some of the obscurity and confusion so central to the play. By clearly depicting the characters involved and the “knot” they have formed, the problem of the play is presented in plain sight, even if not all characters are aware of it. It would be considered spoilerific to anyone who is not familiar with the play. This is how I imagine Viola’s own realization of the events falling into place at this moment, which adds an element of certainty to the scene.