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What was reaction of other creatures in "The Frog and the Nightingale?"

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pallavisoni | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 18, 2013 at 3:27 PM via web

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What was reaction of other creatures in "The Frog and the Nightingale?"

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

Posted July 19, 2013 at 2:35 AM (Answer #1)

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Seth depicts the other creatures as no different than the public whose fascination is held for a moment and then moves on to other elements. When the nightingale sings its first song, the reaction of the creatures in the bog is noteworthy:

Ducks had swum and herons waded
To her as she serenaded
And a solitary loon
Wept, beneath the summer moon.
Toads and teals and tiddlers, captured
By her voice, cheered on, enraptured:
"Bravo! " "Too divine! " "Encore! "

The nightingale is appreciated by the reaction of "the public" and gives them more of what they want for she was "unused" to this type of adulation and praise.

Over the course of the poem, the frog is able to put the nightingale in front of everyone, seeking to ruin her voice.  As a result of the frog's "guidance," it gets to the point where she sings so much that the public tunes her out:

Night on night her tired song
Zipped and trilled and bounced along,
Till the birds and beasts grew tired
At a voice so uninspired
And the ticket office gross
Crashed, and she grew more morose -

It is significant that Seth invokes the "ticket office" and cinema metaphor.  In the end, the public became "tired" of the nightingale, and her death becomes the result of an uncaring public and merciless frog.  The public is shown to pay little attention to her death, as they go back to listening to the frog in Bindle Bog at the poem's end.

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