What is the theme of 'The Frog And The Nightingale'?  

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

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There are a couple of themes that can be taken from Seth's poem.  I think that the first one lies in how there are individuals who benefit from another's downfall.  In this light, the poem speaks to how individuals have to be vigilant of the motivation of others. The self- interest of others is a theme in the poem. The nightingale never conceives of the fact that the frog might just not have her interests at heart.  She does not contemplate that the frog might benefit from her excessive "training."  She doesn't see this and because of her myopia, she ends up dying.  The poem speaks to the fact that there are individuals who benefit from others' downfall and one has to be mindful of this.  Another theme that comes out of the poem is that the creation of art is a complex reality.  The poem articulates asks the question of why the artist creates their art.  Do they do so because they wish to remain important or relevant, as in the case of the frog?  Do they do so because they need the appreciation of others', as in the case of the nightingale?  Certainly, there has to be a clear analysis as to why the artist does what they do and in this, the poem raises some complex questions in its theme regarding the creation of art.

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