EXPLANATION OF SOME EXPRESSIONS of The Frog and the Nightingale Class 10th.



  1. Croaked away in Bingle Bog……… (line  2)

Explanation …

Bog is a wet and marshy land. The poet has deliberately used ‘Bingle’ for  alliteration.

  1. He croaked awn and awn and awn……… (line  4)

Explanation …

It means ‘on and on’. These words are phonetically selected and also rhyme with    dawn.

  1. And the crass cacophony………  (line 7)

Explanation …

‘Crass’ means meaningless and cacophony is a very loud and unpleasant noise. Here it is used to refer to the unpleasant voice of the   frog.


  1. To display his heart’s  elation……… (line  14)

Explanation …

Elation means happiness. In this context, it means that the frog sang to express the happiness of his heart.

  1. Stared toward the sumac, rapt……… (line  21)

Explanation …

Sumac is a tree with cane-shaped fruits. When the nightingale sat on a sumac tree and sang her melodious song, all the creatures of the bog were mesmerised and were curious to know who the singer    was.

  1. For my splendid baritone……… (line  44)

Explanation …

The frog gets a complex after hearing the nightingale and the praise she has got. But he is very boastful and calls his unpleasant voice as ‘baritone’, which is good for male  singers.

  1. The technique was  fine  of course.

But it lacked a certain force……… (line    50)

Explanation …

The frog is jealous so he gives a negative complement in a very tactful manner. He cannot find any fault, so admits that the ‘technique’ is flawless but the  song is not full of   passion.

  1. I don’t think the song’s   divine

But -oh-well-at least it’s  mine……… (lines   55-56)

Explanation …

The nightingale is trying to be very modest since the creatures of the bog had already declared her song to  be ‘too divine’. She is overawed by a great critic like frog, so she says in a timid manner that she is proud of the originality of her song. Ironically, she is chastised in the end for not being   original.

  1. Breathed: “This is a fairy tale   –

And you’re Mozart in disguise” (lines   64-65)

Explanation …

The nightingale cannot believe her luck, since dreams only materialise in fairytales. Moreover, she is too impressed and overawed by the frog’s offer to train her. So she compares him to the famous German musician Mozart.

  1. Flushed with confidence, and  fired

with both art and adoration (lines    70-71)

Explanation …

The nightingale is greatly inspired. She has already received praise and appreciation from the creatures of the bog, so she is full of confidence and is ready to create ripples in the world of    art.

  1. Journeyed up and down the scale ……… (line    84)

Explanation …

The frog persuades the nightingale to sing in rainy weather, which is not suitable to her. He makes her practise at various pitch-levels, tries many musical notes, and as a result the nightingale is too tired.

  1. Owl of Sandwich, Duck of Kent…….. Mallard and  Milady Trent

Martin Cardinal Mephisto

And the Coot of Monte  Cristo………  (lines  90-94)

Explanation …

The poet wishes to create humour so this refers to the titled crowd, which are authentic royal    titles.

Earl  of  Sandwich,  Duke  of  Kent My  lord  and  Milady  of Trent Martin and Cardinal from Mephisto Count of Monte  Cristo.


  1. “We must aim for better  billings

You  still owe me sixty shillings”……… (line   109-110)

Explanation …

The frog’s greed is insatiable. He coaxes the nightingale to sing more passionately, so that more creatures come to hear her and he can mint more money. Moreover, he exploits her further by charging her for giving music training.

  1. And, my dear, “lay on more   trills,

Audiences enjoy such frills………” (lines   105-106)

Explanation …

The frog wants to tire the nightingale, so he asks her to sing very fast-paced musical notes, repetitively, which will prove to be very exhausting. He gives the logic that the audience prefer very fast, sensational embellishments in a  song.

  1. Night on night her tired  song

Zipped and trilled and bounced along……… (lines 113-114)

Explanation …

The nightingale is thoroughly exhausted; her voice has lost its freshness and magic. The melody of her voice has been replaced by musical notes that are repetitive but not pleasant to hear. The songs just appear to drag on. So the creatures of the bog lose    interest.

  1. “Use your wits and follow  fashion

Puff your lungs out with passion”…….. (lines 125-126)

Explanation …

This piece of advice from the frog proves to be the nightingale’s undoing. She tries to perform as instructed by the callous frog and tries to infuse more energy and force in her song. Unfortunately, this results in bursting a vein and the nightingale succumbs to her death under   pressure.

  1. But she was a stupid creature  –

…..Far too prone to influence……… (lines   132-134)

Explanation …

These lines reveal how malicious and hard-hearted the frog is. He starts criticising the nightingale the moment she dies. Instead of a worthy tribute, he calls her stupid, vulnerable and too nervous. Basically he wants to be rid of any blame that may be heaped on him, for her death. He    is right in calling the nightingale ‘too prone to influence’ because it was her vulnerability that led to her death.

  1. “That your song must be your own that’s why I sing with  panache

Explanation …

Nightingale was proud of her originality and the frog had earlier also criticised her that it was not enough reason to boast about. He continues in his conceited manner, telling everyone that no one could imitate his confident and elegant  style.



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