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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: January ::
Re: Ophelia and Ottilie
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0011  Monday, 3 January 2000.

From:           Nancy Charlton <
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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!

Nancy Charlton
 

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