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[[caption-width-right:350:''Ophelia'', by Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret]]

->''"Thought and affliction, passion, hell itself,''
->''She turns to favour and to prettiness."''
-->--'''Laertes''', ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}''

In RealLife mental illness is rarely pretty but in fiction, there's just something about a lovely young woman, often with [[MessyHair long, disheveled hair]], running around [[TalkativeLoon babbling lyrically]] about the strange visions flashing through her deranged mind, singing [[IronicNurseryTune creepy little rhymes]], [[FlowerMotifs scattering flowers]] and occasionally [[AxCrazy bashing people's heads in.]]

Maybe this particular cutie was just [[BreakTheCutie broken particularly hard]], maybe it was [[IllGirl an illness]] or maybe she was born that way, but the result is the same, a tragically beautiful, ethereal waif who's mad as a box of frogs. Her beauty is an important point here, underlining her fragility and the sadness of her fate. She usually talks in riddles and rhymes, can be sad or joyfully happy [[MoodSwinger (or switch between these states)]]. Her mind may be so far gone that she's likely to murder people, but she'll always have clear skin while doing it. Sometimes, too, she has [[WaifProphet important knowledge]] the sane may lack, in which case she'll often have [[CassandraTruth terrible trouble]] getting anyone to listen (a classical example of MadOracle). The original [[TheCassandra Cassandra]] from ''Literature/TheIliad'' was often depicted as a bit of an Ophelia.

It's difficult to pin down the appeal of this trope. Perhaps a strange young maiden communing with nature harkens back to earlier figures like nymphs or pagan witches. Perhaps there is an underlying FetishFuel at the thought that a crazy girl might be crazy ''amazing'' in the sack. Or perhaps there's something endearing to men about cradling a girl in your arms and [[{{Moe}} protecting her]] from the demons in her own head.

There's often a surprisingly artistic bent to The Ophelia's madness; she may sing, dance wildly, or try to paint her delusions. She is often [[CloserToEarth tied to nature]] (including [[DoesNotLikeShoes walking around barefoot]], [[FlowerInHerHair wearing flowers]], etc.), particularly water, probably as a nod to the original Ophelia (in Creator/WilliamShakespeare's ''Hamlet'') who winds flowers in her hair before drowning herself. That last bit can overlap with InstantOracleJustAddWater if she's also a WaifProphet and/or a MadOracle.

The Victorians fell crazy (so to speak) in love with this trope and Ophelias in the form of wronged maidens and deranged brides go pirouetting and flower-strewing through art, poetry and literature of the period while the "mad scene" for the soprano heroine became a staple of opera. Insanity was linked to [[http://www.herstoria.com/discover/madness.html female sexuality and desire for independence]]. (Not coincidentally, the vibrator was invented in this same period as a treatment for hysteria in women.) In fact, psychiatrists at that time used to encourage female patients in madhouses -- especially if they were youthful and pretty -- to dress the part and carry sheaves of flowers.

If a male character is shown the same way, odds are good he's very [[{{Bishonen}} feminine and delicate-looking anyway]].

Compare/contrast with NightmareFuelStationAttendant, {{Cloudcuckoolander}}, FaintingSeer, AxeCrazy, MysteriousWaif, WaifProphet, HystericalWoman. For the (usually) "harmlessly kooky" variant see ManicPixieDreamGirl and PerkyGoth.

----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Ophelia ([[MeaningfulName duh]]) from ''{{Claymore}}'', who became obsessed with getting revenge on her brother's murderer (Priscilla). Her polite exterior disappears real fast when people interrupt her.. [[LeaveNoWitnesses fun.]] Her death scene after turning into a [[ScaledUp snake-like awakened being]] naturally occurred in a lake with her usually-braided hair flowing freely around her.
* Again, Ophelia ([[MeaningfulName duh]]), from ''RomeoXJuliet''; a [[AxCrazy fantastically batshit crazy]] HalfHumanHybrid [[MysteriousWaif priestess]] [[CrazyAwesome to a dying tree-god]].
* Quon Kisaragi from ''Anime/RahXephon'' is this and/or an extreme CloudCuckooLander.
* The ''ErgoProxy'' episode named ''Ophelia'' ([[CaptainObvious duh]]) contains liberal amounts of symbolism referencing the titular Shakespearian character. This includes the lead female character's [[spoiler:doppelganger]] floating in a lake and pulling the famous pose.
* Sunako in ''TheWallflower'' when she's out of her chibi form. She's creepy but still downright gorgeous. Because she is often acting truly dhsieveld and insane, she might be closer to a [[DeconstructedTrope Deconstruction]]
* [[WaifProphet Kotori Monou]] became one in ''{{X1999}}'', after [[spoiler:seeing her mother Saya die]] as a little girl. She apparently recovered her mind, but some years later she turned into one full-time when [[spoiler:seeing Kamui's aunt Tokiko die in the same way]]. And then soon after, [[spoiler:''she'' dies! And at the hands of her {{Face Heel Turn}}ed older brother!]] The poor girl can't catch a break...
** Subverted in the Tv series. [[spoiler: Kotori ''does'' shows some signs of this trope when Tokiko dies, but unlike in the manga [[AdventuresInComaLand she falls in a coma.]] Her subconscious is still active and ''sorta'' stable, however, and she begins to use her DreamWeaver powers instead of going crazy.]]
** A darker version is Seishirou's mother Setsuka, the previous Sakurazukamori. In the CD dramas she often spoke about things that looked like nosense, then counteracted with something quite unsettling and did so with a smile.
---> '''SETSUKA''' (has an ikebana arrangement): Camellias. Red camellias.
---> '''SEISHIROU''': Your favorite flower.
---> '''SETSUKA''': I love it. I love camellias best when they fall (gets a dreamy look) It falls on the ground.... plop, like a human head. ''I love it.''
* Dilandau from ''Manga/TheVisionOfEscaflowne'' eventually dissolves into a male version of this as his mental stability shatters from a variety of influences. Given that he ''started the series'' as an AxeCrazy PsychoForHire, that's saying quite a lot. And then you find out that he actually started out [[spoiler:as a girl]].
* [[spoiler: Charlotte]] from ''Manga/RoseOfVersailles'', after she cracks from the pressure on her and right before she [[spoiler: commits suicide]].
* Casca from ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'' becomes a nearly mute version of this after she [[GoMadFromTheRevelation goes mad from the horrible trauma she suffered during the Eclipse]].
* ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic''. Kaname acts like this during her Whispered moments, including hallucinations and self-inflicted ClothingDamage.
* Nina Fortner from ''Anime/{{Monster}}'', when we first meet her. Overlaps with CreepyChild.
* Kagami Mikage's mother in ''AyashiNoCeres''. Kagami himself is a cruel MagnificentBastard, but his interaction with his mom is pretty much the only PetTheDog side we see of him.
* Diva from ''BloodPlus'', who also happens to be the BigBad.
* [[spoiler: Princess Emeraude]] in the MagicKnightRayearth OVA's.
* Asuka's mother Kyouko in ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'', after [[spoiler: piloting EVA 02 and having a part of her soul sucked into it.]] Asuka herself touches on this trope after she suffers the TropeNamer for MindRape.
* Tomoe Yukishiro from ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'' has a fit of this after [[spoiler: her fiance Akira Kiyosato is murdered.]] The first time she meets Kenshin, she's drunk and her only reaction to [[RainOfBlood getting splattered by the blood of someone Kenshin just eviscerated]] is to say that he made it rain blood. She then promptly faints.
* Rin Sohma, Ren Sohma, [[spoiler: Akito]] Sohma, and Machi Kuragi from ''FruitsBasket'' have moments like this.
* Momo Hinamori from ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'', when at her lowest point. She ''sorta'' begins to get better with time.
* Queen Skyla from ''SkyDancers''.
* ''GundamSeedDestiny'''s Stella Loussier blissfully dances her way through her first scene of the series... And, minutes later, [[KnifeNut shanks]] her way through the second. [[PsychopathicManchild It only goes downhill from there.]]
* Cordelia Glauca from ''TanteiOperaMilkyHolmes'' is a humorous take of this trope, complete with flowers. [[FlowerInHerHair Which unexplainably appears on her hair]].
* An AxCrazy and openly villainous version is [[spoiler: Crimson Miroku]] from the SakuraWars TV series. After [[spoiler: Sumire kills her and Satan Aoi brings her BackFromTheDead]], she appears in front of the main cast with her clothes loose, [[LettingHerHairDown her long hair down]], and only being able to speak a MadnessMantra: "[[spoiler: Sumire]], [[spoiler: Sumire]]... I want your life... I'll take your life..."
* Rei Asaka from ''Manga/OniisamaE'' has her moments as this, and ''specially'' when she's drugged.
* In [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist the 2003 anime version]] of Manga/FullmetalAlchemist, [[spoiler: Rose Thomas]] is either drugged or hypnotized by [[spoiler:the BigBad Dante]]. In addition to [[BreakTheCutie the other terrible events]] that traumatized her, this makes the poor woman nearly catatonic, vacant, and either completely still or dancing. [[spoiler: But she gets better.]]
* Misaki from {{Loveless}} is arguably a very dark version.
* At least four of these appear in Manga/DetectiveConan:
** [[spoiler: Ran Mouri]] spends a good part of the fourth movie, ''Captured in her eyes'', as one of these [[spoiler: due to a ''bad'' case of TraumaInducedAmnesia.]]
** Also, a young woman mentioned in the backstory of the [[spoiler: Detectives Koshien]] arc. More exactly: [[spoiler: she was a mentally and emotionally unstable socialitÚ who commited suicide via hanging herself in a room of her BigFancyHouse (nicknamed "the Lavender mansion") in an island near Fukuoka. The "young mistress"'s death was wrongfully catalogued as a murder, however, and the main suspect was her young maid, Kana Mizoguchi. Poor Kana also was DrivenToSuicide, having jumped off a cliff and into the sea after she couldn't prove her innocence.]]
** In the [[spoiler: Kimono Goddess]] case, we actually get introduced to the episode via a scene in which a beautiful, sad-looking Ophelia ''[[StartsWithASuicide throws herself off a building]]'' in front of everyone in her women's college. [[spoiler: Her name was Sakurako Suzuka, and [[BrokenBird she]] [[BreakTheCutie ended up]] [[DespairEventHorizon that way]] after being framed for drug trade by two cruel {{Alpha Bitch}}es, Ema Anzai and Asuka Shibazaki, who already hated her for being a WideEyedIdealist. Five years later, Ema and Asuka would become the case's {{Asshole Victim}}s at the hands of Eri, Sakurako's estranged older sister.]]
** Maya Tachibana from the Beautiful Amnesiac Woman case, who has lost her memories due to injuries and acts like a textbook case. [[spoiler: Then it's subverted: she's a DarkActionGirl who was hired to kill Kogoro by a dude that got tossed into jail and then escaped, and while her memory loss was genuine at first, she recovered her memories around halfway the episode and then pretended to still be amnesiac so she could corner Kogoro and murder him. Conan barely manages to save Kogoro and then capture her.]]
* The unsettling fate of Mie Iwamoto from ''Manga/{{Shigurui}}'' after a particularly traumatizing incident. Eventually she recovers, but is still deeply disturbed.
* [[spoiler: Kamille Bidan]] becomes a ''very'' RareMaleExample in ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamZZ Gundam ZZ]]''. Understandable: [[spoiler: he is barely recovering from having been {{Mind Rape}}d into insanity by Scirocco. And once he reappears in the series, the ColonyDrop on Dublin [[FromBadToWorse and Hayato's death in battle take place]]...]]
* ''Manga/DeathNote'': Misa Amane. Beautiful? check. Insane? check. Puts on pretty dresses and murders people? Definitely.
* ''SakuraGari'' features the young and pretty maid from the Saiki household who becomes this [[spoiler:after ''surviving'' Sakurako's [[ColdBloodedTorture torture]]/murder of Souma's lovers, but losing the baby of Souma's that she was pregnant with.]] We meet the girl shortly after [[spoiler: Souma attempts to kill himself]]; she looks pretty but frail and pale in her dark kimono, and attempts to speak to the Saikis and then to Masataka to learn what's going on -- but then she catches a glimpse of [[spoiler: Sakurako herself]] and has a ''massive'' [[HeroicBSOD meltdown]], screaming for a "[[spoiler: white-haired]] demon" that is around the gardens, so the policemen have to calm her down. Considering that [[spoiler: she was tied up in UnwillingSuspension manner, gagged, savagely beaten ''and'' then photographed while half-naked and still BoundAndGagged]], she can't be blamed.
* From the manga-only Onisarashi-Hen (Demon Exposing Arc) in ''HigurashiNoNakuKoroNi'', [[spoiler: Natsumi Kimiyoshi]] becomes this in the story's epilogue. After failed attempts at living with relatives, later living with [[spoiler: Akira Toudou]], who married her so she would be able to drop her maiden name and move past [[spoiler: her murdering her grandmother and parents]], she's consigned to a psychiatric hospital. Though she seems to be doing better, she's actually aware of her crimes, even though [[spoiler: Akira]] is shouldering her guilt for her. By contrast, she was more of a tragic Ophelia with her relatives than after she was moved to the hospital, where she was more of a MadwomanInTheAttic.
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'': [[NoExportForYou PSP-game only]]. [[spoiler:Kyouko Sakura]]'s witch form is known as Ophelia, and it integrates the mythology of {{Hamlet}}'s Ophelia into its motifs.
* Several of JunjiIto's characters, particularly the one who [[spoiler:killed people and sewed their corpses together. And she was the protagonist's girlfriend too!]]
* [[spoiler: Manji's older sister]] in BladeOfTheImmortal. [[spoiler: When Manji kills her husband without knowing who he is, she crosses the DespairEventHorizon and reverts to a child-like stage. She remains like that until she's murdered in front of her younger brother.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Art]]
* "Crazy Jane" by Richard Dadd fits this trope to the T. So much so that she was inspiration for the character's name in Creator/GrantMorrison's ''Comicbook/DoomPatrol'' (While that other Crazy Jane does NOT fit this trope).
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbolism_(arts) Symbolist]] movement of the 1890s was fond of Ophelia as a subject.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fanfic]]
* Manga/{{Bleach}}'s Ichigo gets this treatment in [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7124350/1/Like_Clockwork_A_Steampunk_Tale Like Clockwork: A Steampunk Tale]]. Considering that he is just as {{Badass}} powerful as in canon...
* In the Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries, Diamond Tiara's mother Golden Tiara - a.k.a. "Screwball" - is like this, a former BlitheSpirit whose mind broke years ago under the pressure of cutthroat high society. However, we later learn that there's a [[TheMadHatter lot]] [[CrazyAwesome more]] [[TheDeterminator to]] [[MamaBear her]]...
* Syaoran in "Shattered Secrets" is a male example of this trope - and lacks most characteristics of a {{Bishounen}}, to boot.
* Feferi from {{Fanfic/Hemostuck}}. A very beautiful [[FishPeople seadweller]] who spends her days singing to herself, swimming, and having a somewhat tenuous grasp on reality.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Delirium from ''ComicBook/TheSandman'' is sometimes portrayed this way.
-->[Some] say that Delirium has no tragedy, but here they speak without reflection. For Delirium was once Delight. And although that was long ago now, even today her eyes are badly matched: one eye is a vivid emerald green, spattered with silver flecks that move. The other eye is vein blue. Who knows what Delirium sees, through her mismatched eyes?
* Ginny, the post-traumatic fairy in ''Aria''. Her cousin Kildare, the protagonist, refers to her as "beautiful and damaged" (or some permutation).
* Subverted in the ''ComicBook/YokoTsuno'' story "The Prey and the Shadow". [[spoiler: Everyone ''thinks'' that Cecilia, the local NonRoyalPrincess, is one of these after the death of her mother Mary... but she's actually ''sane'', just extremely sheltered, and it's her EvilUncle who makes everyone think otherwise so he can set her up for an "accidental" death.]]
** Subverted again in ''The Devil's Organ'', where Ingrid is introduced as one but it's just temporary [[spoiler: since she was not only depressed by her father's death, but she was ''drugged'' by someone else. After an incident where she was thrown into the Rhin but Yoko saved her, she mostly recovers.]]
* Alice, the first major villain in ''{{Batwoman}}'', has many hallmarks of an Ophelia, dressing in bizarre Victorian-esque clothes, speaking almost entirely in quotes from ''Literature/AliceInWonderland'', carrying a poisoned razor blade in her mouth and frequently having her makeup run down her face. She also turns out to be [[spoiler:Beth, Kate's long-lost twin sister, and there's a heavy implication that she underwent serious MindRape after she was captured in the shootout that killed their mother when they were 12. And the icing on the cake is that she drowns in the river and essentially commits suicide]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Andy of ''Film/TheGoonies'' flips her shit and begins babbling nonsense about "having a beautiful body" shortly before the group encounters the corpse of Chester Copperpot... which doesn't help the situation.
* In ''ADangerousMethod'' Sabina Spielrin is portrayed like this.
* Brittany Murphy's character in ''Don't Say A Word'' and in ''GirlInterrupted''
* Rachel Weisz plays twin sisters in ''Film/{{Constantine}}'', one of whom is a sort of peripheral Ophelia - confined to a mental hospital, she commits suicide by leaping from a building, plunging through a ''roof'' and into a ''swimming pool'' (a ''cross-shaped'' one to boot) where, naturally, she can float all flowing-haired and dead. The other twin begins to manifest aspects of the trope - visions and immersion in water - without actually losing her mind.
* Crazy Cora in ''Film/QuigleyDownUnder'' goes between this and being more or less sane. She has very long hair which is sometimes down and tangled, though no flowers or water motif as it takes place in the Australian Outback.
* Kirsten Dunst's character Justine in ''{{Film/Melancholia}}'' could be a variation of this trope. She has few of the above mentioned traits, but a certain aesthetic scene in the movie is a clear reference to her. Justine is also mentally ill, but this is portrayed in a much more realistic and thus even more heartbreaking way.
* Lucy Barker from ''Film/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet'' after [[spoiler: her [[DrivenToSuicide attempt at suicide]], brought on by being raped and having her daughter taken away]].
* The Italian film ''Film/TheBestOfYouth'' centers around the lives of two brothers. A pivotal moment at the beginning of the film that ultimately influences their life choices is when the brothers meet Giorgia, a mental patient who has been subjected to electrotherapy. One of the brothers, Nikola, comments that they were both kind of in love with Giorgia at the time.
* Gina, Tony Montana's sister, in her last scene in ''Film/{{Scarface}}''. Tony has been playing KnightTemplarBigBrother to her throughout the movie, having a [[MySisterIsOffLimits violently territorial reaction]] every time her virginity is the least bit endangered, to the point of being a {{Yandere}}. This culminates with him discovering her post-sex with Manny Ribera (his best friend) and shooting him dead right in front of her, only for her to tearfully reveal that they'd gotten married the previous day. At his mansion that night, amidst the attack by Alejandro Sosa's men, she appears semi-nude and drugged out, telling him he can have her now since he clearly wants her for himself, all the while shooting at him with a revolver. One of the attackers kills her; Tony kills him in turn and then basically loses his mind over her body. Of course, ''he's'' the one who has the swimming pool death. (Incidentally, IncestSubtext is a somewhat popular reading of Laertes's overprotective attitude toward [[Theatre/{{Hamlet}} the original Ophelia]].)
* ''Film/TheCabinetOfDrCaligari'' is framed as the story of how Jane was driven this particular shade of crazy.
* The titular character of ''Film/AgnesOfGod'' fits this trope to a tee. Agnes is rather childlike and na´ve, and she also constantly speaks of random things that make sense only after being pieced together. It is unclear whether she was born mentally challenged; she says she was "dropped on her head" as a baby. The local doctor, Martha, is never sure whether Agnes is really mentally challenged or it's a result of [[spoiler: her mother's virtually imprisoning her for years.]]
* Ofelia of ''Film/PansLabyrinth''. [[MaybeMagicMaybeMundane Maybe...]]
* Mal in ''Film/Inception''. She was driven mad after being unable to tell between dreaming and reality, causing her to kill herself.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/TheWomanInWhite'' by Wilkie Collins has not one but ''two'' Ophelias, Anne Catherick, the titular woman in white, and her near-doppelganger, (and secret half-sister) Laura Fairlie. Both are sane (although seemingly at least a bit odd in Anne's case) when confined, in turn, to an insane asylum by the villain in a BatmanGambit involving substituting one for the other, but both are driven mad by their incarceration there.
* Catherine of ''Literature/WutheringHeights'' has attacks of this towards the end.
* Jeanne from Charles Baxter's ''Literature/ShadowPlay'' could have had a touch of this in her young years: she was apparently rather pretty, but lived in her own universe. When she got older, she turned into a {{Cloudcuckoolander}}.
* In ''The Lady of the Lake'' by Sir Creator/WalterScott, a bride carried off and raped on her wedding day wanders the highlands decked with flowers and singing.
* While still a child, Creator/JaneAusten parodied the hell out of this in her spoof romance ''Literature/LoveAndFreindship'' (sic). When the husbands of the two heroines suddenly die in front of them, they each exhibit the standard Gothic romance reactions -- one [[{{Fainting}} swoons]], while the other [[HeroicBSOD has a fit of madness]]. This proves the healthier choice, as lying unconscious for two hours on the wet grass [[CatchYourDeathOfCold gives the other girl a cold that ultimately kills her]], and she dies exhorting her friend ''"Beware of swoons, dear Laura. . . . A frenzy fit is not one quarter so pernicious; it is an exercise to the Body and if not too violent, is I dare say conducive to Health in its consequences--Run mad as often as you chuse; but do not faint."''
* Fuchsia Groan in ''Literature/{{Gormenghast}}''. Unusually, she's rather more like this earlier on, with the dark events of the plot giving her a more conventionally depressed outlook. [[spoiler:She does ultimately drown herself, although it's unclear how deliberate it was.]]
* Subverted with Elfine in ''Literature/ColdComfortFarm'' by Stella Gibbons -- Elfine runs around in a green cloak "like a Pharisee of the woods" (i.e., a faerie), making cryptic remarks, until the main character, Flora, gives her a makeover and sets her up with a cute guy. Then she's normal.
* In the YA novel ''Black Jack'' by Leon Garfield, the hero finds himself falling in love with Belle, a fragile young girl who's first encountered in a wood, having a vision of "A white tower with a shining top." She's been swinging between gentle strangeness and violent hysteria since an illness in childhood. Much of the drama turns on whether her madness is the result of an illness exacerbated by neglect and isolation (in which case it's assumed to be curable) or hereditary (in which case it's not).
* Creator/MargaretAtwood has [[http://www.owtoad.com/ophelia.pdf an interest in the trope]] and deconstructs it in ''Literature/TheBlindAssassin''. The narrator's sister, Laura, is a beautiful, intensely spiritual young woman given to loopy statements, odd activities like painting "the colour of people's souls" onto old photographs and falling/jumping into rivers. She seems incapable of fending for herself and is revealed on the first page to have driven a car off a bridge, killing herself, at the age of twenty-five. However it later appears that it's only in the arid context of pre-war upper class society that she can't function, and there are people who have a vested interest in discrediting her insights as mere insane babble.
** Charis in ''Literature/TheRobberBride'' has also exhibited symptoms of this, the more so during her university days. Arguments can be constructed on both sides of the crazy/not crazy spectrum.
* ''Literature/TheWarlordChronicles'' takes a moment out of deconstructing the KingArthur mythos and pulling it into TheDungAges to deconstruct this trope in the person of Olwen the Silver, an insane {{Cloudcuckoolander}} first used by Merlin, (her etheral beauty, a little paint and special effects convinced people that she was a spirit and Merlin was summoning the old gods back to Britain) and later by Merlin's KnightTemplar former pupil Nimue.
* In Mary Jo Putney's ''The Wild Child', the titular heroine appears to be mutely insane or at least mentally handicapped, but in the pretty, well-groomed way. However it turns out she's just really stubborn and unsocial.
* In ''Literature/HarryPotter'' [[spoiler: Ariana Dumbledore, minus the TalkativeLoon part.]]
** Luna Lovegood has shades of this, more-so in the movies.
** There's also Frank and Alice Longbottom, who were driven mad after being tortured with the cruciatus curse for too long.
* ''Literature/JonathanStrangeAndMrNorrell'': Lady Pole ''looks'' like an Ophelia to the casual observer. In fact, she's under an enchantment that forces her to spend every night dancing to exhaustion in [[TheFairFolk Faerie]] and causes her to [[TalkativeLoon speak nonsense]] [[CassandraTruth whenever she tries to tell anyone about it]].
** Adding to it, [[spoiler:once one of her friends is taken away to Faerie to join the dances she attempts revenge on the man responsible with a pistol, though she fails.]]
* Odiana in ''Literature/CodexAlera'' is something like this trope... as well as most of the others listed under "compare/contrast". She's also an UnhappyMedium, a powerful empath driven [[AxCrazy completely nuts]] by slavery, gang-rape, and brainwashing. She's gorgeous, [[TheMadHatter cheerfully open]] about her own insanity, and ''way'' [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} out there]].
* Sorcha, TheHighQueen of [[TheFairFolk faerie]] in ''Literature/WickedLovely'' seemed to become one temporarily in the fourth book, due to missing her son, Seth.
** Her twin sister, [[AxCrazy Bananach]] is a murderous and mercilessly cruel version of this trope. InTheBlood?
*** Well, Devlin and Seth seem fine. Although they are [[DismissedGender male]].
* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' Literature/EighthDoctorAdventures novel ''The Blue Angel'', the Doctor is basically like this. Since he's [[TheNthDoctor the Eighth Doctor]][[note]]who is undeniably somewhere in the top three of the Doctor's prettiest incarnations[[/note]], the prettiness and long, unkempt hair are a given, and he's rather sickly and delicate, he wanders barefoot through his garden (in the snow, even!), and either all of ''Doctor Who'' [[CuckooNest is actually just his psychotic delusions]], or he's a WaifProphet DreamingTheTruth. [[spoiler:And, [[http://www.google.com/search?q=ophelia+pregnant like Ophelia]], [[MisterSeahorse he's pregnant]]. [[MagicalRealism Sort of]].]]
* From Literature/TheHungerGames: [[spoiler: Katniss near the end of the third book, after killing Coin]]. Annie fulfills this trope much more consistently, being unstable at the best of times. She even has the water motif (she's from the seaside District 4 and won the Hunger Games when she was young by swimming through her flooded arena while the other tributes drowned).
* In Patrick Rothfuss's ''Literature/TheKingkillerChronicle'', the supporting character Auri is a shy young woman who lives underneath The University, hiding from almost everyone. She makes grave but completely nonsensical statements and presumably was driven mad by the University's demand on her mental faculties.
* Eponine from ''Theatre/LesMiserables'' is actually compared to the TropeNamer.
* In ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' Raistlin and Caramon's mother is written as never having been quite sane and likely driven mad by her latent magic. She's described as being ethereal, beautiful and will often talk to people who aren't there or randomly start dancing. Eventually she slipped into an episode that killed her when she couldn't be woken up.
* Isabelle Angelfield in ''Literature/TheThirteenthTale''. Highlighted and foreshadowed by an incident where she falls into a lake at a picnic.
* Lee Smith's epistolary novel ''Literature/{{Fair and Tender Ladies}}'' features the narrator's sister Silvaney, who is depicted as ''odd' (possibly retarded or mentally ill) and is eventually institutionalized and lobotomized. Prior to that, however, she runs around singing and laughing, and is mostly let alone by her family. This trope was especially prominent in the musical version produced by the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.
* In Creator/AletheaKontis's ''Literature/{{Enchanted}}'', "full of woe" Wednesday is dreamy and poetical [[spoiler:and ends up leaving human lands for the fairy at the end]].
* Susie becomes this in the second half of ''Repeat It Today With Tears'' by Anne Peile; although she chops off her RapunzelHair after being committed to a psychiatric hospital.
* Two gender inversions of this occur in ''Literature/DoctrineOfLabyrinths'' by Sarah Monette. In ''Melusine'', wizard and former prostitute Felix Harrowgate goes mad from MindRape and wanders around saying things that people either don't understand or [[TheCassandra don't believe]], sometimes to their peril. [[UnhappyMedium Vincent Demabrien]], a boyhood acquaintance whom Felix meets again in ''The Mirador'', is both a gender inversion and a subversion, as his affinity for ghosts makes him seem insane, but he really isn't. Interestingly, both characters are [[PrettyBoy pretty boys]] described as delicate and beautiful.
* Vibeke in Scott G. F. Bailey's ''The Astrologer'' is a full-blown {{Expy}} for Ophelia, as the novel is a ShoutOut to ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}''. Unlike the original, though, she's having a secret relationship with [[spoiler: the King, who has impregnated her]], and she commits suicide by [[spoiler: burning herself alive atop her father's corpse.]]
* [[spoiler: Felix]]'s MissingMom in the Chilean novel ''Golondrina de Invierno'' (''Winter Sparrow''). [[spoiler: He son describes her as gentle, sweet and a bit sad, and after her death he learns that she spent months in an institution when Felix himself was very young; the discovery causes him to fall in a brief DrowningMySorrows state, as he believes he has inherited her mental unstability.]] [[spoiler: And he's right: later in the book he mentally collapses and becomes a RareMaleExample, but he ultimately manages to get better.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Creator/JossWhedon loves his gibbering brunette Ophelias.
** There's River Tam from ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', who is also a [[CassandraTruth Cassandra]] of course, but her lyrical madness fits the trope to the letter, and Ophelia's River is even there in her ''name''. She has a [[BigBrotherInstinct faithful Laertes]] in Simon.
** Drusilla from ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''. ''"Do you like daisies? Hmm? I plant them, but they always die. Everything I put in the ground withers and dies."'' She was driven mad by [[BreakTheCutie being terrorized]] by Angelus.
** In ''Series/{{Angel}}'', Fred recovers relatively quickly, but gets in a fair amount of babbling and scribbling on the walls first. ''"You're not real! Or I'm not real. Somebody here isn't real and I suspect it's you..."'' She was stuck in a demon dimension where humans were treated like cattle for five years and, after escaping her captors, stayed in a cave by herself for months until the team ended up in the dimension and saved her.
** Glory's sanity stealing powers provided an entire season of these at the ready.
** Most notably, [[spoiler: Tara]].
** The ensouled Spike has his own moments of Male Ophelia Syndrome. ''This is my place! You need permission to be here! You need a special slip with a stamp!''
** And frankly, "Restless" turned the entire cast of ''Buffy'' into this.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** In the episode "The Doctor's Wife", Idris/[[spoiler: the TARDIS]] is this when she's put into human form. Of course, experiencing your own past, present and future at the same time would make anyone a bit mad.
** When Susan Foreman is in her more alien moods, she becomes like this, particularly in "The Edge of Destruction", which she spends drifting around waifishly in a long kimono-like dress babbling about visions in her mind, staring blankly into space with her big sad eyes, and shredding furniture with scissors while screaming and crying hysterically. (When she's in a more human mood, she's TheIngenue.)
* "All the Sinners, Saints", a thoroughly depressing, ShootTheShaggyDog episode of ''Series/WithoutATrace'', features Katie, a beautiful young woman who's suffered from a severe and apparently untreatable mental illness for years and believes she's possessed and vanishes after suffering visions of a murder. [[spoiler: after discovering that she ''committed'' the murder in question, she slits her wrists in a bath, fulfilling the trope's association with water.]]
* ''Series/{{Skins}}'':
** Anorexic Cassie is an Ophelia who just about manages to function socially, except for when she... doesn't. When thoroughly out of it [[spoiler: as she attempts suicide]], she is seen dancing ethereally in floaty clothes on a hilltop bench against the setting sun.
** Subverted in the second series. The Ophelian tendencies go out of the window and it's just plain ''disturbing'' when she's out of it.
** Effy straddles the line between "pretty" and "disturbing" during the fourth series.
* There was an age where every Hispanic SoapOpera heroine snapped in an Ophelia Phase if [[BreakTheCutie broken enough]]. Given its roots in Victorian romantic literature, it's not a surprise. They tended to get back into sanity in time for their RoaringRampageOfRevenge, although by the time they snapped back they had already do something unforgivable, like giving their newborn to beggars.
* In ''Series/TheAddamsFamily'', Morticia's older sister (also played by Caroline Jones in the series; seen for about two seconds in the movies) fits much of this trope. She wears flowers in her hair (if you try to pluck one, her leg lifts up); she's vague at least, though not babbly; and [[WaifFu she's very good at karate]], not noticing that it hurts when she flips men to the ground. Oh, did I mention her name is Ophelia?
* In an episode of ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'', Xena is driven mad by the Furies. Oh, she can still kick butt(in a Three Stooges style) but she suddenly wants to weave daisies in her hair.
* ''CSINewYork'' has a suspected murderer, who seems dazed and begins babbling about law procedings. As it turns out, she's just a sleepwalker that only just woke up. Bonus points for her name actually being Ophelia.
* Annie from ''Series/{{Community}}'', especially back in her Adderall days.
* Daisy on ''Series/BeingHuman''. Bit of an ActorAllusion, as the actress Amy Manson also played Lizzie Siddal, the model of the famous pre-Raphaelite painting ''[[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3e/Millais_-_Ophelia.jpg Ophelia]]'' on ''Series/DesperateRomantics''.
* In ''Series/SonsOfAnarchy'' Opie fills this role as part of the Hamlet setting update. After [[spoiler: Donna's death]], he becomes, like his Shakespearian counterpart, melancholy and suicidally crazy.
* Lila West from Season 2 of ''Series/{{Dexter}}'' is stunningly beautiful and possesses an artistic streak with which she sculpts a RoomFullOfCrazy. She also has some unfortunate [[StickyFingers kleptomaniac]], [[{{Pyromaniac}} arsonist]] and {{Yandere}} tendencies.
* Helena from ''Series/OrphanBlack'' is beautiful, ethereal, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WMIzmO-Ycw one hell of a dancer]]...and all-around AxCrazy.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* This is more or less Katie-Jane Garside's (Of Daisy Chainsaw and Queenadreena fame) stage persona. Actually, imagine the girl in the picture at the top of this page stumbling around in a terrified daze and you're practically there.
* The basis for the EmilieAutumn album ''Opheliac'', which was described by Autumn as "being another drowning story". And as the album is somewhat autobiographical, the attractiveness part is arguably passed too.
* Music/YoshikiHayashi in both stage persona and RealLife is a male example of the trope, though somewhat less, both as he's gotten older and as therapy for the conditions from which he has suffered has improved from what it was. Arguably, from Yoshiki's autobiography, Yoshiki's father was also a RealLife male Ophelia, one whose life sadly ended from suicide at 33.
* Florence + The Machine used this idea in at least The Drumming Song off Lungs. Other songs also feature this idea.
* The folk song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMPdXzyzucQ Maid in Bedlam]]
* Marianne Faithfull, who went from early 60's [[TheIngenue ingenue]] to late 60's wild child with an almost suicidal eagerness. She even played Ophelia alongside Nicol Williamson's Hamlet.
* [[TheDoors Jim Morrison]] [[http://www.people.nnov.ru/thedoors/wilderness2.htm wrote a poem]] in tribute to Brian Jones, guitarist for TheRollingStones, which compared him to Ophelia; Jones had drowned in a swimming pool.
* Most of {{Evanescence}}'s {{Sanity Slippage Song}}s give off this vibe.
* Lacey Sturm, the lead singer for the band {{Flyleaf}}, has an Ophelia-like air in their music videos, and sometimes, even on stage. Bare feet and all.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Opera]]
* "Mad Scenes" were a popular convention of early 19th Century French and Italian opera, frequently afflicting the soprano heroine.
** Lucia in ''Lucia di Lammermoor''. [[spoiler: She [[AxCrazy stabs]] her [[ArrangedMarriage forced bridegroom]] Arthur to death, then shows up babbling (re: singing) madly in the middle of the wedding party - [[BloodSplatteredWeddingDress blood splattered dress and all]], few before she passes away as well.]] (In the original novel, Walter Scott's "Bride of Lamermoor" which was VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory, Lucia's madness is surprisingly un-aestheticised, so doesn't count).
** Linda in ''Linda di Chamounix'' has the unusual good fortune of getting over it and having a happily-ever-after.
** Margeurite in Gounod's ''Faust'' goes mad after falling pregnant and committing infanticide, and sings, of course, about flowers.
* Creator/GilbertAndSullivan parody the type with Mad Margaret in ''Theatre/{{Ruddigore}}.'' Her supposed madness does no more than make her a {{Cloudcuckoolander}} (and a sympathetic one, to boot). In the second act, she's mostly reformed but sometimes bursts into hysterical fits. These fits can be quieted by reminding her of the word "Basingstoke" (an English town which is noted for not being Birmingham; both towns start with the same letter as [[BedlamHouse Bedlam]], though this is not mentioned in the play).
* Male example: In the Stravinsky opera ''The Rake's Progress'', Tom imagines himself as Adonis after he goes insane.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Then, there's Dolores [[BigScrewedUpFamily Whateley]] in ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}''. Ethereally beautiful? Check. Long, raven-black hair? Check. Access to [[BrownNote mind-breaking knowledge]]? Check. Dancing through the graveyard at night singing nursery rhymes to her "friends" in the graves? [[ShoutOut Ooh. That's a big check.]] In the short-lived ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}'' [[CollectibleCardGame CCG]], she provided some of the best Flavor Text, such as the quote on the "Event Card" where every [[DeadlyEuphemism aced]] character became playable again for exactly one round.
-->''"Everyone's coming out to play!"''
* In ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'' we're provided with an entire vampire clan of these, courtesy of the Malkavians. Subverted, in that while some of them are genuine Ophelias, just as many are AxCrazy or [[PsychopathicManchild Psychopathic Manchildren]], or have less obvious kinds of crazy like personality disorders or compulsions, and a fair number are just pretending to be The Ophelia to put the rest of the world off their guard.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* Ophelia from ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'', the TropeNamer.
* Probably inspired by Shakespeare's example, any young woman in Renaissance drama who enters "with her hair about her ears" (i.e. down).
* Creator/WilliamShakespeare himself parodied this type with the Jailer's Daughter in ''TheTwoNobleKinsmen''.
* Mary Tyrone in the final scene of ''LongDaysJourneyIntoNight'', when she wanders into the room so intoxicated by morphine that she thinks she's a young convent girl again and rambles accordingly. Her acerbic son James even [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] this: "The mad scene. Enter Ophelia!"
* Some productions choose to go down this path with post-VillainousBreakdown [[Theatre/{{Macbeth}} Lady Macbeth]].
* Blanche [=DuBois=] in ''AStreetcarNamedDesire''.
** Tennessee William's use of this trope is believed to be inspired by his own life. Williams was very close to his sister Rose, who was described as a "slim beauty"; she was diagnosed with schizophrenia and spent much time in mental hospitals before having a lobotomy that incapacitated her. Williams never got over it and it is believed to have played a part in his drug addiction and alcoholism.
* Some productions of ''Theatre/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet'' do this to Johanna.
* Diana of ''NextToNormal'' is a deconstruction of this trope. Her husband, Dan talks about how wild and beautiful she was as a college student, but got worse as time went on. The show makes a point to show [[SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped there's nothing mystical or glamorous about mental illness.]]
* Lucy Westenra becomes this trope as a vampire in ''[[Theatre/DraculaALoveStrongerThanDeath Dracula: a Love Stronger Than Death]]'', down to the loose hair, white gown, and flower crown. This is a big change from the book, where she's an utter monster after her transformation.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Ophelia from ''VideoGame/{{Blood}}'': Caleb's backstory mentions her home was burned down by the Cabal after her husband tried to leave them. She is left there for some time, mindlessly babbling on and blaming her husband's cowardice for the death of her son. She, well, gets better, then worse, [[DeathIsNotPermanent then better again]].
* Yeesha from ''[[VideoGame/{{Myst}} Uru]]'' has a touch of this- her speeches have her dancing about the room, using odd phrases, and describing the flow of water.
* Princess Charlotte from Creator/AdamCadre's interactive fiction work ''VideoGame/{{Varicella}}''.
* ''[[VideoGame/FirstEncounterAssaultRecon F.E.A.R.'s]]'' Alma appears to have many Ophelia-esque aspects, particularly in ''Project Origin''. She is shown singing in several hallucinations, and in the prequel videos she dances around a doctor who she's been gleefully [[MindRape mindraping]]. Water shows up often in her hallucinations, which makes sense, as, like Ophelia, she drowned to death (in her case, in amniotic fluid). And her hair in her "child" form tends to be wild and frazzled.
* Penny from ''VideoGame/AdvanceWars: Days of Ruin'' vacillates between being an Ophelia and being AxCrazy, mainly depending on the wishes of her stuffed Mr. Bear.
-->'''Penny:''' Hee hee! Penny likes you...but Mr. Bear ''[=HATES YOU!=]''
-->'''Will:''' Why are you helping me?
-->'''Penny:''': ...Because Mr. Bear told me to.
* [[spoiler: Lilian]] in ''VideoGame/LauraBow''
* Tira from the ''VideoGame/SoulCalibur'' games, who leans towards the "AxCrazy" variety.
* This is the backstory of Nadia Grell in ''TheOldRepublic'', bar that rather than being mentally ill, her talent with the Force was awakening and her species had no history or awareness of the Force. She snaps out of it when the Jedi teach her how to control her powers.
* [[spoiler: Ophelia's SuperpoweredEvilSide]] in ''BrutalLegend''. Lampshaded as she uses a lot of metaphors for drowning when commanding her army to attack.
* [[spoiler: Ninian]] from ''VideoGame/FireEmblemElibe'' spends a brief time like this. When you find her in either Eliwood's or Hector's path, she's adrift in a small rowboat and totally amnesiac, so the cast takes her in since she can't be left alone. Soon we learn why she's like that: [[spoiler: she and Nils tried to escape from the Dread Isle to not be forced to open the Dragon Gate and call other dragons through it, with the help of Eliwood's captured father Elbert; however, Nils fell into the sea and the already unstable Ninian snapped, blocking everything from her mind. She does't recover until Nils reappears and snaps her out -- and just in time, as she's BrainwashedAndCrazy and just about to open the Gate under Nergal's orders.]] From then on she's mostly sane, if [[ShrinkingViolet extremely shy and reserved]].
* Sara from [[FireEmblemJugdral Fire Embem: Thracia 776]] is regarded as such by [[spoiler: her grandfather Manfroy and the Lopto cult]]. She's more of a slightly-off but otherwise functional OracularUrchin, however.
* Depending on how well you do on a certain event, Garry from VideoGame/{{Ib}} can lapse into this temporarily or permanently. After being terrorized literally out of his wits, he begins babbling to himself and ignoring the world around him. He follows the tradition of male Ophelias, in that he is feminine, pretty, and gentle. Although, his gender identity is debatable since he uses female pronouns in the original japanese.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* [[spoiler: Shannon]] from ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry''. She seems a perfectly normal, if shy {{Meido}}, until Will asks her to bring [[spoiler:Kanon]] into the room with her, at which point she quite literally [[HeroicBSOD short-circuits]]. The entire seventh arc is spent showing just how [[SplitPersonality broken]] [[BreakTheCutie this cutie]] is since it's revealed that [[spoiler:she ''is'' Kanon, or rather, he's her alternate personality --[[MindScrew to put it mildly]].]]
** By extension, not only is [[spoiler:Shannon]] The Ophelia, but also her creator, [[spoiler:Yasu, also known as Beatrice and Kanon]].
* If the beta version of VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo is to be believed, [[spoiler: Hanako Ikezawa]] [[WhatCouldHaveBeen would have eventually become this.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Lucy of ''Webcomic/BittersweetCandyBowl'' [[spoiler: after Michael is believed to have died during the hiking trip]]
* Young [[spoiler: Reisen]] of ''Webcomic/ABrokenWinter'' is a rare male example. We're introduced to him sitting on the desk with his headphones in and the fire extinguishers merrily destroying his room, while he muses as to the music of the gods. It's portrayed as a very classic Ophelia moment.
* Arkady of ''Webcomic/{{Freakangels}}''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Quinn from ''WesternAnimation/{{Daria}}'' babbles nonsense and rubs mud on her face after she eats the "[[IntoxicationEnsues glitterberries]]" along with the rest of her family, save the title character.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Lucia Joyce, daughter of Creator/JamesJoyce. Schizophrenic. Institutionalised. Pretty (rather Flapper-like), with an artistic temperament: she was a skilled dancer in her youth, good enough to train with Isadora Duncan.
* ''America's Next Top Model'''s seasons 12 and 17 contestant Allison Harvard (also known on the Internet as "Creepy-chan"). Long, messy hair, weird, crazy vibe and everything.
* In 1720 Susan Mountfort, an institutionalized actress who had been known for playing Ophelia, escaped her keepers, went to her former theater, hid in the wings, and took the current actress's place in Ophelia's "mad" scene, dying shortly afterwards.
* The aforementioned sister of Tennesee Williams, Rose.
[[/folder]]

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