The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0011 Monday, 3 January 2000.
Date: Wednesday, 29 Dec 1999 16:54:18 -0500
Subject: 10.2302 Re: Ophelia and Ottilie
Comment: Re: SHK 10.2302 Re: Ophelia and Ottilie
At 10:01 AM 12/29/99 -0500, Martin Mueller wrote:
>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.
I was under the impression that "Ottile" was German for Athalie which is
French for Athaliah in the Bible. Not one of the characters you want to
name children after!