Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: December ::
Re: Ophelia and Ottilie
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.2302  Wednesday, 29 December 1999.

From:           Martin Mueller <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Date:           Thursday, 23 Dec 1999 14:37:51 -0600
Subject:        Ophelia and Ottilie

Larry Weiss is entirely correct in pointing out that "Ottilie" is the
feminine form of "Otto," just as "Emilia" is the feminine form of
"Emil." Both names were common in the late eighteenth century. But
Goethe had many ways of calling the odd female character in his Elective
Affinities, and I think he called her "Ottilie," as opposed to "Emilia"
or "Sophie" because he wanted to link her discreetly to Ophelia. His
"Wilhelm Meister" is evidence that he thought a lot about Ophelia.

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.