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What is the moral of the poem "The Frog and the Nightingale"?

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ashishk7071 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 23, 2010 at 5:17 PM via web

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What is the moral of the poem "The Frog and the Nightingale"?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 23, 2010 at 8:02 PM (Answer #1)

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There are many morals that can be taken away from this poem.  The first would be not to be so trusting of others.  The nightingale trusts the frog way too much and does not scrutinize his potential motivation for overextending her voice, helping to eliminate his competition.  The lesson here might be to not be so open to others without fully assessing their motivation.  I think that another lesson is that artists who create their work for solely public praise and appreciation might stand a chance to actually see their work be temporary and not lasting.  The nightingale is so eager to have someone praise her work and responds to it that we get the impression that she is not mindful that her art is her greatest gift.  The fact that someone likes it is wonderful, but has to be secondary to the expressive quality that is within it.  The nightingale jumps at the chance to have a fan base, to become more praised, and never places her gift in the proper context.  I think that this is part of what ends up dooming her in the end.  Finally, I think that there is a lesson that there will always be "haters" out there.  Call it for what it is:  The frog is a "hater."  He envies her voice, and given his monotonous croaks, one can see why.  The nightingale never fully grasps that there might be malevolent people in the world who are motivated by their own senses of self.  For all artists or individuals who hold passion, the envious eyes of others that would covet what others possess are always there and should be understood in their proper context.

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