O is for Ophelia

a-to-z-letters-oYes, she of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

The one who’s told to bugger off to a nunnery

The one who goes mad and starts Hey Nonny Nonny-ing

The one who drowns herself in the lake because some mad bastard treated her like crap.

And no, before you say “But you promised no more tragic plays,” the reason I chose Ophelia for today’s blog is because I was trying to think of anybody I have ever met called Ophelia, and I came up blank. I’ve run across a couple of dogs in my time called Ophelia but never a person.

Now, there are plenty of Shakespearean female names that have been bestowed upon women over the ages: Phoebe and Portia and Kate and Rosalind come to mind. But no Ophelias. No Desdemonas for that matter either. Maybe people just don’t want to name their kids after Shakespearean women who met unpleasant deaths.

According to Wiki Answers (and I’m not sure how much stock we should take in them), Ophelia is originally a Greek name and means to “help” or “aid” Well, our Danish Ophelia didn’t receive much and didn’t even manage to help herself in the long run. She did, however, have some great artwork produced in her name. She makes drowning look positively peaceful.


So,  if you know of anyone who was or is called Ophelia, I’d love to hear it.



  1. Besides being so associated with the shakespearean character, the name Ophelia has gathered other negative connotations. The long list of “I feel ya” (fill in the blank)s comes to mind. It’s a shame because it is a beautiful name.

  2. Carrie-Anne says:

    I love the name Ophelia. One of my characters has that name. My taste in names tends towards the classical unusual and classical eccentric, which Ophelia definitely fits into.

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