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fem. proper name, from Greek opheleia "help, aid," from ophelein "to help, aid, assist," ophelos "advantage, help," from PIE root *obhel- "to avail" (cf. Armenian avelum).
daughter of Polonius, sister to Laertes, and rejected lover of Hamlet in Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet. Ophelia's mad scene (Act IV, scene 5) is one of the best known in Western literature, and her tragic figure, that of innocence gone mad, has often been portrayed in art.