The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.2302 Wednesday, 29 December 1999.
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.