CBSE Class 10 English Literature Reader Solutions The Frog and the Nightingale
The Frog and the Nightingale â€”By Vikram Seth
‘The Frog and the Nightingale’ by a well known poet is an interesting fable which focuses on the cunningness of the so-called musicians and critics. It shows the fact how some people kill the creativity of others in the name of rules and conventions. In this poem, two contrasting characters-The Frog and the Nightingale, are beautifully portrayed. The frog represents domineering and boastful behaviour of such people and the nightingale is a tender, meek and nervous bird who obeys the Frog’s command innocently. Nightingale, the timid bird is so much impressed by the frog that she starts taking training from him. In order to exploit the nightingale, the frog over exerts her to death and succeeds in his tricks of getting rid of his rival.
‘The Frog and the Nightingale’ is a story in verse. It describes how a frog exploits a nightingale to earn money. This fable shows how the bad training given by the frog causes the death of the nightingale. The moral is that one should have confidence in oneself and believe in one’s own talent.
Once upon a time, a frog croaked in Bingle Bog. Other creatures hated his voice but they had no choice. The loud and unpleasant noise of the frog continued from the sumac tree. He croaked there from dusk to dawn. Neither stones, prayers, nor insults, complaints could stop him from his strong determination. He was determind to express his elation through his song. One moonlit night, a nightingale perched upon the sumac tree started singing. Other creatures in the bog clapped and admired her melodious sweet song. Being surprised at the sweet melody of the nightingale, he feared that he would not be heard any more. As the nightingale sang beautifully, ducks swam to her, toads, tiddlers and teals were delighted and called the song ‘divine’. But the frog was not happy.
Next night as the nightingale was ready to sing, the frog interrupted and introduced himself as the owner of the tree and known for his splendid baritone. The nightingale inquired about her song. As a critic he replied that it was not too bad but was far too long. The technique was fine but the song lacked certain force. The nightingale was flattered that such a reputed critic had discussed her art.
Being jealous, the frog took the nightingale into confidence and made an evil plan to get rid of her. He became her trainer and made her sing excessively for long hours. He started pointing out her mistakes and drawbacks. The nightingale received a huge response. Animals from miles gathered around to listen to her sweet song, and the cunning frog took admission fee from them.
The strain of training and singing was too much for that delicate and innocent bird. She grew sad and pale and miserable. The frog scolded her as she could not sing sweetly any more. The nightingale had to bear scolding and exploitation. She lost the beauty of her voice. The other creatures stopped coming to hear her song at the concerts arranged by the wicked frog.
The frog was very angry at the failure of the nightingale. He asked her to puff her lungs to follow the fashion of the stage. The nightingale puffed up, that made her vein burst and she died.
The frog described her as a foolish creature. She was nervous, tense and prone to influence. The frog was victorious and sang unrivalled in the Bingle Bog.
Extract Based Questions (3 marks each)
Read the extracts given below and complete the statements that follow:
Q. 1. Now the frog puffed up with rage.
“Brainless bird-you’re on the stage-Use your wits and follow fashion.
Puff your lungs out with your passion”. (Board 2014, Set PRE2N18 QUD9VQW)
(a) Why was the frog puffed up with rage ?
(b) Give the opposite of ‘Brainless’ ?
(c) What happened when the nightingale puffed up her lungs ?
Ans. (a) The frog’s income from the sale of tickets had come down.
(c) She died because of the bursting of her vein.
Q. 2. “Other creatures loathed his voice
But, alas, they had no choice And the crass cacophony
Blared out from the sumac tree.” (NCT 2014) (Board Term-I 2012, Set 28)
(a) Whose voice was loathed ?
(b) Why did they have no choice ?
(c) ‘Crass-Cacophony’ means………………..
Ans. (a) The frog’s voice was loathed.
(b) Because the frog was stubborn and did not stop croaking.
(c) a very loud and unpleasant noise.
Q. 3. Animals for miles around
Flocked toward the magic sound And the frog with great precision Counted heads and charged admission. (Board Term-I 2013, Set 101)
(a) From where did the animals rush to the bog ?
(b) What does the ‘Magic sound refers’ to ?
(c) How did the frog cash in on the nightingale’s talent ?
Ans. (a) The animals rushed from all comers of that place, some of them even waded through water and rushed to
(b) If refers to the melodious song of the nightingale.
(c) The frog took an admission fee from all the creatures of the bog to listen to the sweet song of the nightingale.
Q. 4. Now the frog puffed up with rage,
“Brainless bird-you’re on the stage-Use your wits and follow fashion
Puff your lungs out with your passion.” (Board Term-I 2012, Set EC2,018)
(a) The frog was puffed up with rage because………………..
(b) The frog called her a brainless bird because………………..
(c) When the nightingale puffed up her lungs………………..
Ans. (a) animals stopped coining to listen her song.
(b) she did not follow frog’s instructions.
(c) she died because her vein burst due to strain.
Q. 5. “Well, poor bird she should have known
That your song must be your own.
That’s why I sing with panache Koo-oh -ah! ko- ash !ko-ash!”
And the foghorn of the frog Blared unrivalled through the bog. (Board Term-I 2012, Set 32)
(a) Who is referred to as the ‘poor bird’ in the first line?
(b) What is it that she should have known ?
(c) ‘Panache’ here means ?
Ans. (a) The nightingale.
(b) That one should be original.
(c) Feeling of pride.
Q. 6. So the Nightingale once more, Quite unused to such applause,
Sang till dawn without a pause. (Board Term-I 2012, Set 40)
(a) The nightingale was not used to so much appreciation as………………..
(b) The creatures of the Bingle Bog requested her for another song as………..
(c) The nightingale’s song made the frog think about………………..
(a) she had no audience before.
(b) her musical notes were a welcome change.
(c) how to take advantage of the situation.
Q.7. Neither stones nor prayers nor sticks, Insults or complaints or bricks Stilled the frog’s determination To display his heart’s elation. (Board Term-I 2012, Set 28)
(a) The stones were thrown at the………………..
(b) The frog determined to………………..
(c) The figure of speech in line 1 is………………..
Ans. (a) frog.
(b) croak from dusk to dawn.
Q. 8.”But I can’t sing in the weather” “Come my dear. We’ll sing together Just put on your scarf and sash Koo – oh – ah! ko – ash! ko – ash !” (Board Term-I 2012, Set 55)
(a) Which quality of the frog is revealed here ?
(b) Why can’t the nightingale sing ?
(c) Which figure of speech is used in the last line ?
Ans. (a) Heartlessness.
(b) Because it is raining.
Q. 9.”In this bog I’ve long been known For my splendid baritone And of course, I wield my penFor Bog Trumpet now and then.” (Board Term-I 2012, Set 59)
(a) Who is speaking and to whom ?
(b) What is ‘Bog Trumpet’ here ?
(c) What does the word ‘baritone’ mean ?
Ans. (a) The frog to the nightingale.
(b) A music magazine.
(c) A male singing voice.
Q. 10. I am the frog who owns this tree. In this bog I’ve long been known For my splendid baritone And of course I wield my pen
For Bog Trumpet now and then
(a) What does the frog talk about ?
(b) The lines show that the frog is………………..
(c) The Bog Trumpet is……………….. (Board Term-I 2012, Set 29)
Ans. (a) About his singing talent.
(c) a magazine for which he writes.
Q. 11. ‘So the frog and nightingale Journeyed up and down the scale For six hours, till she was shivering Till her voice was hoarse and quivering’
(a) The journey mentioned here is………………
(b) The nightingale was shivering because of………………..
(c) The rhyme scheme of these lines is……………….. (Board Tenn-1 2012, Set 20)
Ans. (a) the musical journey.
(b) cold and exhaustion.
(c) aa bb.
Q. 12. ‘Next night when the Nightingale Shook her head and twitched her tail, Closed an eye and fluffed a wing And had cleared her throat to sing She was started by a croak’ (Board Term-12012, Set 28)
(a) The Nightingale was eager to sing because………………..
(b) She was started by………………..
(c) She twitched her tail to………………..
Ans. (a) she wanted to gain applause.
(b) the frog’s croak.
(c) sing a song.
Q. 13. Day-by-day the nightingale
Grew more sorrowful and pale.
Night on night her tired song Zipped and trilled and bounced along.
(a) Why did the nightingale grow sorrowful and pale ?
(b) What did she perform at night ?
(c) What is the poetic device used in the phrase ‘tired song’ ?
Ans. (a) She was constantly scolded and forced to sing.
(b) She sang tired songs.
(c) Transferred epithet.
Short Answer Type Questions (2 marks each)
Q. 1. Do you agree with the frog’s assessment that the nightingale is a brainless bird ? (Board 2014, Set QUD9VQW)
Ans. Value Points:
The nightingale is not a brainless bird-highly talented; her only fault is that she is trusting and unsuspecting and all such beings are credulous; her chief shortcoming is credulity. (CBSE Marking Scheme, 2014)
The nightingale is not a brainless bird. She is a highly talented bird who is not aware of her talent. Her only fault is that she is trusting and unsuspecting. She is misled by the evil frog who only wishes her ruin. Her chief shortcoming is credulity.
Q. 2. How did the frog impress the nightingale when he first met her ? (Board Term-12013, Set 5007)
Ans. Value Points:
He said that he owned the sumac tree, was a critic of reput and wrote for Bingle Bog.
The frog told the nightingale that he was the owner of that sumac tree and was famous for his ‘baritone’ there. He informed her that he wrote for the ‘Bog Trumpet’ and thus tried to impress the nightingale.
Q. 3. What was the frog’s reaction when, the earnings from the box office dropped ? (Board Term-12012, Set 28)
Ans. The frog was extremely annoyed with the nightingale and he made the nightingale sing day and night inspite of her pathetic condition and scolded her vehemently for not performing well.
Q. 4. What is the irony in the statement of the frog when he says, “That your song must be your own” ? (Board Term-I 2012, Set 41)
Ans. The nightingale suffered disgrace and death because she was not sure that her own original song was melodious. Her lack of confidence made her believe the frog.
Q. 5. Describe the role of the audience in the tragic fate of the nightingle. (Board Term-I 2012, Set 52)
Ans. The audience in the poem are the creatures of the bog. They rejoice at the sweet and melodious songs of the nightingale. They praise her for it. She is highly impressed by the same and exerts herself to amuse them.
Q. 6. Why did the nightingale call the frog a Mozart in disguise ? (Board Term-I 2012, Set 54)
Ans. The nightingale called the frog a Mozart in disguise because she thought he was a great singer and musician like Mozart and could help her to become a great singer too.
Q. 7.Do you think the nightingale is brainless ? Give reasons to support your answer. (Board Term-12011, Set 12)
Ans. The nightingale was not aware of her talent. She was foolish to be misled by the evil frog, who only wished her ruin. The bird called the frog the Mozart, inspite of its crass cacophony.
Q. 8.Why is the frog’s joy both sweet and bitter ? (Board Term-12011, Set 14)
Ans. The frog was thrilled to see the audience. He believed he could earn a handsome amount at the cost of the nightingale, who entertained the crowd. Yet, he could not bear to see the nightingale being appreciated and applauded for her song.
Q. 9.What was the aim of the frog ? (Board Term-12011, Set 16)
Ans.The aim of the frog was to maintain his supremacy in the bog. He earned a lot of money at the expense of the nightingale and wanted to make her realize that the bog belonged to him and not to anyone else.
Q. 10.To some extent the nightingale was herself responsible for her downfall and death. Comment.
(Board Term-12011, Set 18)
Ans.The nightingale was a brainless creature who got carried away by the frog’s appreciation. She could not guess that she was being fooled by the frog.
(i)Her strong desire for recognition and fame left her open to exploitation.
(ii)Despite having an appreciative audience she did not have much faith in her own abilities.
Q. 11.How did the animals in the forest react to the frog’s song ? (Board Term-12011, Set 20)
Ans. The animals in the forest disliked the blaring sound. They did everything they could to stop the song. They threw sticks, complained and requested but all in vain.
Q. 12.How did the frog train the nightingale ? (Board Term-12011, Set 21)
Ans. The frog made the nightingale practice continuously for six hours. She was cold and sleep-deprived, her voice became hoarse and uninspired. Still she kept on practising.
Q. 13.Why is nightingale called foolish ? (Board Term-12011, Set 24)
Ans. The nightingale was foolish as she fell prey to the frog’s words. She tried to imitate him which resulted in losing her beautiful voice and in the end she died.
Q. 14. Comment on the frog’s character. (Board Term-I 2011, Set 26)
Ans. The frog as depicted in the poem is very clever and shrewd. He represents people who are manipulative. He exploits the nightingale to get rid of his rival as he assessed the bird’s nature very well. He himself has no talent.
Q. 15. Why according to you did the frog exploit nightingale ? (Board Term-I 2011, Set 30)
Ans. The frog was very greedy and callous. He exploited the nightingale for his selfish interests.
Q. 16. How did the frog oncg again become the unrivalled king of the bog ? (Board Term-I 2011, Set 34)
Ans. The frog acted cleverly and got rid of the nightingale. As the nightingale died, he became the unrivalled king of the bog.
Q. 17. How does the frog introduce himself to the nightingale ? (Board Term-I 2011, Set 35)
Ans. The frog introduced himself as the owner of the sumac tree. He told the nightingale that he was a great writer and critic and writes for the magazine Bog Trumpet.
Q. 18. What according to the Nightingale was a ‘fairy tale’ ? (Board Term-I 2011, Set 39)
Ans. The frog who introduced himself as a great singer and critic commented upon the nightingale’s voice. He offered to train her to become a good singer. This was like a fairy tale to the nightingale.
Q. 19. How did the animals react to the nightingale’s song ? (Board Term-I 2011, Set 41)
Ans. The animals appreciated the song. They admired it so much that many creatures turned up to hear her song.
Q. 20. How did the frog satisfy his greed through the nightingale’s song ? (Delhi 1,2009)
Ans. Frog was a very clever and cunning creature. He was jealous of the growing popularity of nightingale among other creatures of the bog. So, he criticized her song suggesting her to take vocal training from him to achieve perfection and for this he took a fee from her and also kept the ticket money from her concerts. This is how the frog satisfied his greed through the nightingale’s song.
Q. 21.What message does the poet wish to give in the poem, “The Frog and the Nightingale”?
Ans. The poet wants to convey that one should exercise one’s individuality and reasoning without letting others lead one blindly. One should realize one’s limitations and not let others exploit them.
Long Answer Type Questions (4 marks each)
Q. 1. How did the nightingale fall prey to the heartless frog ? (Board Term-I 2011)
Ans. The frog was a hated singer in the bog. He had a rough voice and the creatures living in the bog loathed his voice still he kept on singing. But with the arrival of the nightingale the situation changed. His position was challenged. So, he posed to be a great singer and offered to teach the nightingale. The nightingale, being foolish, accepted him as her teacher and tried to imitate his voice. With the result, her own voice became hoarse and uninspired. Other creatures also became tired of listening to her song. At this, the frog scolded her. In order to please the frog, she rehearsed a lot which ended in her bursting a vein and she died.
Q. 2. “That your song must be your own.” Write the significance of the statement said by the frog in ‘The Frog and the Nightingale’.
Ans. It is said that one should sing one’s own song. Had it been the case with the nightingale in the poem ‘The Frog and the Nightingale’, she would not have been killed.
She was timid and lacked self-confidence. That was why she invited the frog’s comments about her song of the last night. This was the chance when the frog could trap her. He offered to impart her training for proper singing. Being innocent she could not suspect the frog’s evil designs of killing her by making her sing continuously and even in bad weather that too without proper rest. The frog exploited her and over exerted her. She obeyed his commands innocently and did not think that her song was better than his.
Ultimately, the frog succeeded in killing her and criticized her as a stupid creature who was nervous, tense and prone to influence and said that she should have thought that her song must be her own.
More Resources For Class 10