The Frog and the Nightingale

by Vikram Seth

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It is important to be wise and smart if one has to survive in the competitive world. Justify this in light of the poem "The Frog and the Nightingale."

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The necessity of wisdom and intelligence is depicted by the frog's ability to easily manipulate the nightingale into sacrificing her beautiful art in order to make the frog money while simultaneously harming herself. The frog is portrayed as a competitive, shrewd individual, who takes advantage of the nightingale's unique talent after listening to her beautiful song. The frog seizes the opportunity to make money off of the nightingale by telling her that she must improve her vocal range and perform in front of the entire bog. Instead of recognizing the frog's deceitful nature and ignoring his absurd criticism, the ignorant nightingale begins her arduous training sessions with the frog and performs every night in front of the entire bog. The frog reaps the benefits from the nightingale's performances while she depletes her energy and ruins her voice. Eventually, the nightingale dies of exhaustion, and the frog says,

"But she was a stupid creature—
Far too nervous, far too tense.
Far too prone to influence.
Well, poor bird—she should have known
That your song must be your own" (Vikram Seth).

Overall, the nightingale's lack of wisdom and intelligence leads to her untimely death. Vikram Seth's poem is essentially a message warning artists not to sacrifice their unique art in order to please shrewd, manipulative critics and promoters.

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