Frog and the Nightingale
By Vikram Seth
Short answer type questions-
Qu.1- ‘I don’t think the song’s divine But – oh – well – at least it’s mine.’ What does the nightingale imply by the last line?
Ans.- She sings from her heart
Qu.2- ‘So the frog and nightingale journeyed up and down the scale’. This line refers to their –
Qu.3- “In this I’ve long been known for my splendid baritone”. Explain.
Ans. –The frog is very presumptuous and boastful. He is also lying.
Qu.4- Where did the Frog sit and sing?
Ans. – The Frog sat under a Sumac tree in the Bingle Bog.
Qu.5- What was the reaction of the creatures to the Frog’s singing?
Ans. -They hated his singing. They begged him to stop. They hurled abuses and stones at him but it had no effect.
Qu.6- One night when the nightingale was about to sing she was startled. What startled her?
Ans. – The frog’s croak
Qu.7- What did the frog claim to be?
Ans. – The owner of the sumac tree.
Qu.8- The frog says that the nightingale was ‘for too prone to influence.’ What was ironical about this statement?
Ans.- It was this quality that fetched him money
Qu.9-Why did the other creatures have no choice regarding the frog’s song?
Ans.-All their efforts to stop him singing were in vain
Qu.10-How is the opening of the poem different?
Ans.-It begins like a fairy tale
Qu.11-What was the reaction of the other creatures to its muse?
Ans.-They hated the songs
Qu.12-The frog stands for ______ who rule the competent ones.
Qu.13- ‘That’s not much to boast about’. What does it tell you about the speaker’s character?
Ans.-Rough and incompetent
Qu.14-Who was Mozart?
Ans.-Renowned composer and singer
Qu.15-How did the Frog and the other creatures respond to the music of the Nightingale when she first came to Bingle Bog?
Ans.-Frog was dumbfounded and other creatures admired her song
Qu.16-The Nightingale behaves very politely whereas the Frog’s attitude towards her was cold, ______ and imposing.
Qu.17-The Frog and the Nightingale contains many words describing different kinds of noise. Find the group that has all these words.
Ans.-Croaked, cacophony, melody, foghorn
Qu.18-The public here means
Ans.- Animals and Birds
Qu.19-What does ‘Ladies’ refer to?
Ans.-The rich birds
Qu.20-The frog was puffed up with a joy which
Ans.-Was both sweet and bitter
Qu.21-Before the nightingale came, what did the frog do all night?
Ans.-He croaked from dusk to dawn
Qu.22-Which word has the poet created to rhyme words?
Qu.23here did the frog live?
Ans.-Under the Sumac tree
Qu.24-Bingle Bog is the name of ______.
Ans.–The place where the frog and the other creatures lived
Qu.25-The motive behind the continuous singing of the frog was ______.
Ans.-Demoralization of the nightingale.
Qu.26-Who was the new occupant of the Sumac tree?
Qu.27-Choose the five kind of creatures who were fascinated by the nightingale’s sweet song.
Ans.-Toads, cuckoo, rabbits, owls and teals
Qu.27-What words did the creatures use to express their feelings?
Ans.- Bravo! Too divine.
Qu.28-On the first night, what compelled the nightingale to sing once more?
Ans.- Words of applause of other creatures
Qu.29-What startled the nightingale?
Ans.-Croaking voice of the frog
Qu.30-How did the frog introduce himself to the nightingale?
Ans.-As the master of the Sumac tree
Qu.31-What aspect of the frog’s personality is revealed in his introductory words to the nightingale?
Ans.-He is territorial and possessive
Qu.32-What was the effect of Frog’s introduction on the nightingale?
Ans.-The nightingale was flattered.
Qu.33-The frog said that he wrote for ______ as________.
Ans.-Bog Trumpet – music critic
Qu.34-What according to the frog was the drawback in the nightingale’s song?
Ans.–It was far too long
Qu.35-How did the nightingale respond to the criticism?
Ans.- She was dejected.
Qu.36-What impression do you form of the nightingale?
Ans.-She lacked confidence and was prone to influence
Qu.37-Who had composed the nightingale’s song?
Qu.38How will the frog change the nightingale’s singing?
Ans.-By teaching her the technique of singing
Qu.39-On what condition does the frog agree to teach the nightingale?
Ans.-On charging a modest fee
Qu.40- The frog is not a fair judge of music because
Ans.-His voice was jarring
Qu.41- What does the nightingale mean by ‘at least its mine’?
Ans.-Her song is unique
Qu.42-Why is the frog called ‘heartless’?
Ans.-No sympathy and emotions for the nightingale
Qu.43-What happened to the nightingale in the end?
Ans.-She burst her vein and died
Qu.44-Why does the nightingale consider the frog as ‘Mozart’?
Ans.-She was impressed by the critical appreciation of the frog
Qu.45-Why did the Frog begin her vocal training when it was raining?
Ans.-He wanted to tire her to death
Qu.46-What happened to the nightingale’s voice after singing in the rain?
Ans.-It became hoarse and quivering
Qu.47-For how many hours did the frog and the nightingale ‘journey up and down the scale’?
Qu.48-It had been raining for
Qu.49-“You’ll remain a mere beginner. But with me you’ll be a winner”. What does this reveal about the frog’s character?
Ans. -The frog is very presumptuous and boastful.
Qu.50- “This is a fairy tale – And you’re Mozart in disguise. Come to earth before my eyes”. What does this reveal about the Nightingale’s character?
Ans. -The bird is fawning. She is also not a good judge of character.
Qu.51- Explain the lines: “And the Sumac tree was bowed with a breathless titled Crowd”.
Ans. -There were so many creatures sitting on the Sumac tree listening to the bird’s singing. These were well-known personalities such as the Owl of Sandwich, Duck of Kent, Matin Cardinal Mephisto who had come to enjoy the concert.
Qu.52- Explain the lines: “And the frog with great precision counted heads and charged admission”.
Ans. -The money-minded frog was charging an entrance fee for the Nightingale’s concerts so he was busy selling tickets to each one of them and collecting money from them.
Qu.53- Not too bad…. But far too long the technique was fine, of course, but it lacked a certain force”. What does this reveal about the Frog’s nature?
Ans. – The frog is behaving extremely superior and in a condescending manner. He is also extremely cunning and is trying to convince her to take training from him.
Qu.54- Said the frog ‘I tried to teach her but she was a stupid creature’ , do you agree with the Frog’s view. Give two reasons to support your answer.
Ans. -Yes, I agree because the bird was not a good judge of character and could not see through the frog. She did not have confidence in herself and was very gullible.
1-“Now the nightingale, inspired flushed with confidence, and fired with both art and adoration sang”
Qu.a-Explain ‘art and adoration’
Ans. -The nightingale was elated because the frog, who she thought was a music critic, had appreciated her singing. She was also very thrilled because she was enjoying the adulation of the public when she sang.
Qu.b-What was the outcome of her singing?
Ans.- She became a huge success. Creatures from all over came to listen to her singing. Very important creatures like the coot of monte cristo and duck of kent and ladies with tiaras glittering came to listen to her. The frog collected money from the concerts and grew richer. Finally with the frog’s persuasion she sang more and more, burst a vein and died.
2- “And the foghorn of the frog blared unrivalled through the bog.”
Ans. -Foghorn is a loud unpleasant noise which warns ships against dangers in the fog. The unpleasant cacophonic voice of the frog is compared to the foghorn.
Qu.b-Why was he ‘unrivalled’ now?
Ans. -The frog had been singing in the bog despite the criticism and insults heaped on him by the creatures of the bingle bog. With the arrival of the nightingale he felt threatened. He planned and schemed to put the bird out of the way. He earned money from her concerts, finally, when the nightingale dies, he is relieved and happily goes back to singing in the bog.
3- “And the ticket office gross crashed, and she grew more morose”.
a) Why did the ticket office gross crash?
Ans. – The bird was tired and sick. The spirit was broken. Her voice lost its beauty and the people got tired of her voice and stopped coming.
b) Why did the bird grow morose?
Ans. -The frog was successful in breaking the bird’s spirit. He was goading her to practice harder. The bird could not take in the pressure and grew depressed and sad.
EXTRACT BASED QUESTIONS AND ANDWERS
1. Once upon—————————————————————–awn and awn.
a) What is unusual about the beginning of the poem?
Ans. – The poem begins like a fairy tale and birds and other creatures feature in the poem.
b) What is ‘Bingle Bog’?
Ans. -Bingle Bog is the name of the place where the frog and the other creatures lived.
c) Find a word made up by the poet? Why has he done so?
Ans. -The word is ‘awn’. The poet has done so to create a rhyme scheme with ‘dawn’.
2. Other creatures ———————————————————–sumac tree.
a) Whose ‘voice’ is loathed?
Ans. -He frog’s voice is loathed.
b) Why did the other creatures have no choice?
Ans. -The other creatures had no choice as all their efforts to stop him were in vain.
c) Explain ‘crass cacophony’.
Ans. -Crass cacophony means loud and unpleasant sound.
3. Insults or —————————————————————-heart’s elation
a)What was the frog’s determination?
Ans.-The frog’s determination was to sing with joy and pride.
b) How did the other creatures try to stop the frog? Why?
Ans.-The creatures pleaded him. They complained and insulted him. Finally, they threw stones, bricks and sticks so that he would stop the song
c) What character trait of the frog is revealed in the extract?
Ans. – The frog is determined, stubborn and was inconsiderate.
4 But one ———————————————————————–her melody.
a) Why has the poet used ‘but’?
Ans.- The poet has used ‘but’ because the nightingale came suddenly one night and things changed thereafter.
b) Why was the moonlight ‘cold and pale’?
Ans.- The moonlight reflected the mood of the creatures of the Bog who were sick of hearing the unpleasant song of the frog.
c) What did the nightingale do?
Ans. -The nightingale perched upon the sumac tree and rendered a melodious song.
5 Dumbstruck sat——————————————————————– ended, clapped.
a) Why was everyone rapt?
Ans.- Everyone was enchanted by the nightingale’s melodious song.
b) Why was the frog dumbstruck?
Ans. -The frog was dumbfounded when he heard the sweet song.
c) What was the reaction of the Bog?
Ans. -All creatures gathered to hear the nightingale’s song and when she had ended they applauded.
6) Toads and —————————————————‘Too Divine!’ ‘Encore!’
a) What was the reaction of the toads and teals?
Ans.- The toads and teals were enchanted by her.
b) Name a poetic device used in this extract.
Ans.-Alliteration: Toads and teals and tiddlers captured.
c) How did the nightingale react to this?
Ans.-The nightingale sang till dawn without a pause.
7) So the ——————————————————————————a pause
a) What compelled the nightingale to sing still dawn?
Ans.-Everyone admired her song. Cheers and applause of the creatures compelled her to sing till dawn.
b) What was unusual for the nightingale?
Ans.-The admiration and applause was unusual for the nightingale.
c) Where was the nightingale?
Ans.-The nightingale had perched herself on the Sumac tree.
8) Next night ——————————————————————–by a croak
a) How did the nightingale get ready to sing?
Ans.-The nightingale prepared herself to sing by shaking her head, twitching her tail, closing an eye, fluffing a wing and finally clearing her throat.
b) What had happened to her the previous night?
Ans.-The creatures of Bingle Bog were delighted to hear her song and praised her. She sang till dawn.
c) What startled the nightingale?
Ans.-The nightingale was startled by the croaking of the frog.
9) Sorry-was ——————————————————————from the bog
a) Who is ‘she’?
Ans.- ‘She’ is the nightingale.
b) Why did the frog hop towards her?
Ans.-The frog hopped towards the nightingale to introduce himself.
c) What character traits are revealed of the frog and the nightingale in this extract?
Ans.-The nightingale is simple and courteous where as the frog is determined and imposing
10) ‘Yes’ the frog —————————————————splendid baritone’
a) Why did the frog boast about himself?
Ans.-The frog boasted about himself to impress the simple nightingale.
b) Explain ‘baritone’.
Ans.- ‘Baritone’ means a male singing voice.
c) What was the effect of the Frog’s words on the nightingale?
Ans.-The nightingale was very impressed by the frog’s boastful claims. She was flattered that such a great musician should seek her out.
11) ‘Oh!’ the nightingale———————————————–art and throat
a) Who does the nightingale regard as a critic?
Ans.-The nightingale regarded the frog as a critic.
b) Why was the nightingale impressed?
Ans.-The nightingale was impressed that a famous musician had discussed her art and her singing.
c) What character trait of the nightingale is revealed in these lines?
Ans.-The nightingale is extremely talented, unsure of herself and gullible.
12) ‘I don’t think———————————————————–heartless frog
a) Why is the frog heartless?
Ans.-The frog is heartless because he criticizes the nightingale’s song for an ulterior motive and has no consideration for the nightingale.
b) Where is the frog and who is he talking to?
Ans.-The frog is at the sumac tree talking to the nightingale.
c) What happened to the nightingale in the end?
Ans.-The nightingale in an attempt to please the frog over strained herself, burst a vein and died.
13) Without Proper———————————————————–a beginner
a) Who is the speaker?
Ans.-The frog is the speaker.
b) What character trait of the speaker is revealed in the above extract?
Ans.-The frog is cunning and boastful. He wants to eliminate competition and is unscrupulous.
c) What is the reaction of the listener? How did it affect her fate?
Ans.-The nightingale is the listener. She is flattered. She believed the frog blindly who was exploiting her talent and pushing her to slow death.
14) ‘This is a ————————————————————————my eyes’
a) Who says these words? To whom?
Ans. – The nightingale says these words to the frog.
b) Why has the listener been called ‘Mozart’ in disguise?
Ans. –Mozart was a great Austrian composer of music.
c) What trait of the speaker’s character is revealed by these words?
Ans. –The frog is called Mozart as the nightingale thinks a great critic has come to assess her singers. The nightingale is humble and gullible. She believes whatever the frog tells her.
15) ‘Come, my ———————————————————————-Ko-ash!
a) Whom does the speaker ask to put on a scarf? Why?
Ans. -The nightingale is asked to put on a scarf. It had started to rain and the nightingale could not sing in that wet weather. The frog insisted that she wears a scarf and sing.
b) What was the real motive of the speaker in practicing together?
Ans. –The real motive was to exhaust her and eliminate competition.
c) What was the effect of ‘singing together’?
Ans. -The effect of singing together was that nightingale’s voice became rough.
16) Ladies with—————————————————————– and bitter
a) Why were ladies in tiaras?
Ans. –The nightingale had become a huge sensation and her performance was a social event. The dignified personalities wore tiaras to the concert.
b) What ‘interval’ is being referred to?
Ans. –The interval between songs during which the ladies could gossip.
c) Why was the frog’s joy both ‘sweet and bitter’?
Ans. –The frog’s joy was sweet as he was earning a lot of money by charging admission fees. It was bitter because the nightingale was a huge success and his singing had never been appreciated.
17) Every day ———————————————————————scold her
a) How did the frog sell her songs for silver?
Ans. –The frog charged admission fee for the nightingale’s performance.
b) Why did the frog scold the nightingale?
Ans. –The frog scolded the nightingale as he wanted her to practice longer till her voice grew stronger like his. He wanted her to give the audience something brighter and sharper.
c) What was the result of the frog’s scolding?
Ans. –The nightingale practiced even in adverse weather. She was exhausted by over-exertion and her songs failed to enthrall the audience.
18) You must —————————————————————grows strong.
a) Who does ‘you’ refer to?
Ans. –You refers to the nightingale.
b) What is the speaker trying to achieve?
Ans. –The speaker is trying to make the nightingale practise extensively so that the sweet voice becomes hoarse like that of the frog. He also wanted to eliminate the nightingale by his cunning ways.
c) What character trait of the speaker is revealed in the given extract?
Ans. –The frog is cunning. He is boastful and inconsiderate towards the nightingale.
19) You must —————————————————————sixty shillings
a) Who does the ‘public’ refer to?
Ans. –The public is the birds living in and around Bingle Bog.
b) What is the advice given by the frog?
Ans. – The frog wants the nightingale to render songs that were better and livelier.
c) What is the ulterior motive of the frog?
Ans. –The ulterior motive of the frog was to train her for long hours so that her voice became rough. He wanted to eliminate competition.
20) I tried to ——————————————————- prone to influence
a) What did the frog try to teach and to whom?
Ans. –The frog tried to teach the nightingale how to sing.
b) What qualities of the nightingale drive her to death?
Ans. –The nightingale is nervous and unsure of herself. She was too trusting and gullible and let herself be led by the cunning frog.
c) What moral is conveyed through the characters of the frog and the nightingale?
Ans. –The moral of the story is that talented people should have confidence in themselves. One should not trust anyone blindly
Qu.1-Give a character sketch of the Frog.
Ans. –The Frog is a cunning and stubborn creature. Brimming with confidence, he did not stop singing even when bricks are thrown at him. He is jealous of the Nightingale’s singing and cleverly plans to destroy her. Winning her trust he forces her to practice hard all the while criticizing and abusing her. He is a mercenary and benefits from her concerts. So hard hearted he is that he does not even soften when she dies dismissing her as a stupid creature who deserves her end. A shrewd judge of character, he capitalizes on the Nightingale’s weak and timid nature.
Qu.2-Give a character sketch of the Nightingale.
Ans. –The Nightingale is shy, timid and modest to a fault. She is not a good judge of character and cannot see through the Frog’s plotting and scheming. She is easily influenced and forgets that one should sing for one self and not for others. In a way, the bird is responsible for her own tragedy.
Qu.3-How did the Nightingale meet her death?
Ans. –The Nightingale practiced very hard in the rain. Her voice grew hoarse and lost its beauty. The animals stopped coming to hear her sing. She grew sad and depressed because she had got accustomed to the applause and praise. Finally, one day when she was forced to practice she burst a vein and died.
Qu.4-How did the Frog scheme to break the birds spirit and destroy her?
Ans. –The Frog was clever. He appeared before her as a music critic and promised to train her. He got her addicted to the appreciation of the audience. Forcing her to practice in bad weather, he broke her physically. He also ruined her mentally by constantly scolding and undermining her confidence. Finally, heartlessly, he forced her to practice when she was not up to it. She tried, but burst a vein and died.
Qu.5-Inspite of having a melodious voice and being a crowd puller the nightingale turns out to be a loser and dies. Is she responsible for her own downfall?
Ans. –The nightingale has an enchanting voice and she enthralls the creatures of the bingle bog with her singing. The Cunning and jealous frog with his cacaphonic voice decides to ruin her. The nightingale is different and a poor judge of character. She comes under the influence of the manipulate frog who trains her in bad weather and makes her in over practice. As a result the nightingale loses her confidence, her health and finally pays for her foolishness with her life. The bird’s gullibility and servility leads to her tragic end
Qu.6-What was the philosophy of the frog? Do you agree with it?
Ans. -The frog despite his wicked nature had a sound philosophy of life. He believed that “your song must be your own”. He had confidence to sing though he received so many brickbats. Nothing could still his determination to sing because he enjoyed it. In contrast the nightingale was out to please people and finally destroyed herself. I do agree with the frog that one should trust oneself and not come under the influence of another person. Self-confidence and individuality are two important aspects of a happy and well-developed personality.
Q7: How did the creatures of the Bingle bog react to the nightingale’s singing?
Ans. –The creatures of the Bingle Bog who were quite fed up of the unpleasant and harsh voice of the frog cheered, when they heard the melodious and beautiful voice of the nightingale. They were full of admiration and listened to her enchanting song with great interest. When her song ended, all the creatures clapped for her and asked her to sing some more. Ducks and herons waded towards her. All the creatures were filled with fascination and delight.
Q8: Which were the different ways in which the frog asserts his importance?
Ans. –The frog introduced himself to the nightingale as the owner of the sumac tree. He proudly declared himself to be very famous singer of the Bog, who had a splendid baritone as well as a music critic who used to write for bog Trumpet magazine. He found faults with the nightingale’s song in order to assert his superiority over her. He even offered to train her so as to improve her singing. The gullible nightingale was completely obstructed by the frog’s sweet sugar coated words.
Q9: Why is the frog’s joy both sweet and bitter?
Ans. -The frog’s joy is both sweet and bitter. His joy is sweet because he is able to earn a lot of money from the musical concerts at the cost of the nightingale. His joy is bitter because he is highly jealous of the nightingale who is becoming famous day by day. The frog can never get respect and admiration from the creatures of bog as everyone hated his hoarse voice.
Q10: Why was the frog angry?
Ans. –The frog was angry because his strain of long practice and over-rehearsal had adversely affected the nightingale’s singing. As a result, her voice lost his beauty and her tired, exhausted songs appeared mechanical to audience and the creatures could no longer enjoy her songs. The audience twiddle and the ticket office crashed because of which the frogs earning declined. So, he lost his temper and scolded the nightingale badly, calling her brainless bird.
Q11: How did the frog become the unrivaled king of the bog again?
Ans. –The frog who was jealous of the nightingale because of her growing popularity devised of devil plan to get rid of her. He pretended to train her and made her practice for long hours, even in the rain.As a result, her voice lost the charm and the other creatures stop coming to hear her sing at the musical concert. The frog’s earnings declined due to which he was annoyed with the nightingale.He urged her to sing loudly and with more passion. She didn’t have any confidence in her own ability and genius. She blindly trusted the frog and sang with so much force that one of her vein busted and she died. In this way, the frog became the unrivaled king of the bog again.
Q12: Bring out the irony in the frog’s statement-‘Your song must be your own’.
Ans. –The nightingale had no confidence on her own. She had a very melodious voice but she was befooled by the frog,who was very jealous of her. He pretended to train her and made her practice for long hours, even in the rain.As a result, her voice lost the charm and one day she was told by the frog to sing more loudly. As she blindly trusted him, she sang with so much force that she died. The frog had planned all this deliberately. When she died, he passed this comment that everyone should follow one’s own advice which seems highly ironical in this context.
Q13: Do you think that the end is justified?
Ans. –In my opinion, this end portrays the victory of evil over good. The tragic end of innocent nightingale is not justified. The wicked and crook frog should get punishment in the end for his conspiracy.
Q14: Do you think that the nightingale is ‘brainless’? Give reasons for your answer.
Ans. –Yes, the nightingale is certainly ‘brainless’. She foolishly and blindly trusted the frog and changed her style of singing. This led her to suffer the end she had met with. She failed to see through frog’s wicked plans and turned out to be a loser and died.
Q15: In spite of having a melodious voice and being a crowd puller, the nightingale turns out to be a loser and dies.How far is she responsible for her down downfall?
Ans.- The nightingale was totally responsible for her downfall. She had a very sweet and melodious voice. Her songs were full of enchantment and all the creatures were filled with fascination and delight on hearing her songs. In spite of her qualities, she was very easily befooled by the frog. She lacked self-confidence and blindly trusted the frog. She didn’t use her brain and did all what she was told to do. Her simple heartedness and lack of confidence were the main reasons for her downfall and the tragic end.
Q10: Do you agree with the Frog’s inference of the Nightingale’s characracter? Give reasons for your answer.
Ans.- The Frog was very wicked and befooled the nightingale. He scolded and demoralized her. He made her sing so forcefully and loudly that she died. He used her for his benefit and even at her death, he was not sorry for his conspiracy. He called her stupid and he was right in saying so.
Q11: Who do you hold guilty for the bird’s death?
Ans.- According to me, frog was very wicked and befooled the nightingale. He scolded and demoralized her. He made her sing so forcefully and loudly that she died. But the nightingale was also equally responsible for her tragic end. She foolishly and blindly trusted the frog and changed her style of singing. This led her to suffer the end she had met with.