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Frog and the Nightingale Summary

Last updated date: 29th Feb 2024
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The poem Frog And The Nightingale was penned by an Indian novelist and poet, Vikram Seth. It gained popularity because of its very universal theme which is also based on our personal feelings and specific defining experiences of our lives. The Frog and The Nightingale poem is very rightly a part of the CBSE Class 10 syllabus and teaches the students about an important aspect of personality building especially in those years of life. In the article, we will understand the meaning of the brilliant poem, The Frog And The Nightingale. Below are the Frog And Nightingale explanation followed by the Frog and the nightingale summary. 

Frog and the Nightingale Introduction, Explanation and Summary

Frog and the Nightingale Introduction

The premise of the poem is very interesting as the protagonists are conversing throughout. The poem also flows in the conversational tone itself between the Frog and the Nightingale. The poet uses the backdrop of a marshy land called Bingle Bog, wherein the Frog sang in a croaked tone awn and awn without paying any heed to the insults and request to stop singing. It then follows the events when the Nightingale starts singing in the Bog and how the Frog handled the situation thereafter. 

Frog and Nightingale Explanation

The Frog croaked every night in Bingle Bog and the other creatures living in the Bog like the rabbits, elephants, monkeys, and birds despised the frog’s voice. The dislike of the croaks was reasonable because it was harsh and unpleasant. And yet the frog went on from dusk to dawn every night at the foot of the Sumac tree. 

The other creatures felt defeated when the frog did not stop croaking even after their desperate attempts through insults, prayers, hitting stones and bricks. Without any desire to stop and croaked to express his heart’s elation and was proud of his croak voice. 

Until one night, when the moonlight shone bright, the weather was cold and dull, a Nightingale sang melodiously sitting on the branch of the very same Sumac tree under which every night the frog croaked. The entire bog gathered admiringly, the frog gaped in shock when the bog including the ducks and herons who swam across near the Sumac tree applauded. The admiration was a first for the Nightingale, so she sang the entire night.

The Nightingale was emotional for receiving such praises from every little to the big creatures. So when the sun rose the next morning she decided she would sing again, and then was interrupted by the croak. The frog boasted of being the owner of the tree and criticized the nightingale’s singing when the Nightingale humbly asked for the Frog’s opinion of her singing. The Nightingale was hurt and just said at least she tried her own composition. The Frog again critiqued her for being proud and belittled the nightingale. The Frog even took advantage of the Nightingale’s naivety and said since the bird only lacked training, that gap could be narrowed under his mentorship. The condition was that the bird has to pay a fee that would be easy for her. 

The Frog trained and organized concerts and the entire bog gathered in huge numbers to hear the Nightingale singing. The poet here also metaphorically writes that even the branches of the tree bowed with admiration and respect for her singing talent. 

The Frog did not stop and with Nightingale’s voice, he made profits and by the day was growing green with envy. The envious nature took an ugly turn when one day the Frog insisted on continuing the training even after the Nightingale opposed it due to bad rainy weather. The Frog shrugged it off saying, they should practice and the Nightingale could wear a scarf to cover her head from the rain. The bird obeyed and trained and sang for continuous six hours until it started trembling. 

The bird sang beautifully and the Frog’s jealousy was only increasing even after selling so many tickets and earning a huge monetary gain. The jealousy also manifested when after a successful show the Frog still criticized her and as a fee asked her to give sixty shillings.

The bird was now no longer enjoying the training and did not want to continue the singing. The sadness and the loneliness also reflected in the way she has sung. No one was now attracted to the sad voice and the crowds came in mere countable numbers. And the Frog still kept criticizing her, so much so that one day she could no longer take the pain, with teary eyes and a vein popped the Nightingale died sad and lonely.

The Frog did not hesitate to put the blame on the bird, saying the bird could not follow his training tactics as she lacked confidence. And now as the sole and uninterrupted King, it continued to croak again from dusk to dawn.

Frog and Nightingale Poem Summary

Jealousy can get the better of another being and taking advantage of the innocent ones is a good way, to sum up, the Frog and Nightingale poem summary. Even though the Frog was himself proud about his own singing, however unpleasant it was, always scolded the innocent bird who received praise. The envious emotions took over the Frog and all his actions were driven by the same jealous attitude. Taking the bird under his wing to train and asking for a fee decided to mentor. The bird trained hard even on bad weather days and trembled and sang. The Frog even though earned numerous profits by selling tickets for the concerts always kept criticizing the bird. The beautiful and melodious singing of the Nightingale due to harsh criticism now turned sad, desperate and not in tune. At the end, when the bird lost all its natural abilities, the admiration lessened from the bog and no one turned up for the concerts, the Frog still condemned the bird. With all the sadness the bird lost her life. And the Frog croaked again. 


The dual nature of the creatures is depicted here in the poem Frog and the Nightingale. Even though the nightingale was extremely talented, she was innocent and naive and believed everyone and had no self-confidence. The frog on the other hand was untalented, lacked a melodious voice, was pompous and jealous. The lack of self-belief and having insecurities will lead nowhere. So one must have belief and only then they will be able to recognize the intentions of others and thrive in the world. The poet excellently explains through his main characters the nature of the living and the lessons to learn.

FAQs on Frog and the Nightingale Summary

Q.1) What intentions did the Frog have in his Mind?

Ans) The Frog was boastful and pompous even with no talent and always operated with ill-intentions. The Frog felt threatened by Nightingale’s melodious and beautiful voice. And also grew jealous of the bird as she received much praise which the Frog never did. So with the aim of maintaining sole supremacy in the bog, he decided to train hard and ruin the beautiful bird till she lost her life. 

Q.2) Why was Nightingale’s Voice no longer a Crowd-Puller?

Ans.) The Frog’s criticism made the bird lose her confidence. This made her sad which is not always a crowd-pulling trait for a performer. In sadness when she sang, the voice was no longer melodious; it was very hurtful and sad. Once a melodious voice that attracted the attention of many could not manage to gather even a few people for the concerts organized by the Frog. It was her lack of belief to accept the tutelage of the frog that led her to be unhappy and lose her natural melodious voice.