The Baron in the Trees

The Baron in the Trees

by

Italo Calvino

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Ottimo Massimo / Turcaret Character Analysis

A dachshund whom Cosimo adopts as a hunting dog soon after taking to the trees. He discovers that Ottimo Massimo used to belong to Viola, which makes Cosimo even more interested in having the dog. Despite his diminutive stature, Ottimo Massimo becomes a skilled hunter and thinks highly of himself. He often courts female dogs much larger than he is, such as Great Danes. Ottimo Massimo is the first to realize that Viola has returned to the area and he’s instrumental in reuniting Viola and Cosimo. This becomes a happy time for the elderly Ottimo Massimo, whom Viola calls Turcaret. When Viola breaks things off with Cosimo and leaves again, she takes Ottimo Massimo with her.
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Ottimo Massimo / Turcaret Character Timeline in The Baron in the Trees

The timeline below shows where the character Ottimo Massimo / Turcaret appears in The Baron in the Trees. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 10
Virtue, Dignity, and Kindness Theme Icon
The Age of Enlightenment vs. The Romantic Era Theme Icon
Civilization vs. Nature Theme Icon
...doesn’t. When the dachshund raises the fox again, Cosimo shoots it. He names the dachshund Ottimo Massimo . (full context)
The Age of Enlightenment vs. The Romantic Era Theme Icon
Cosimo follows Ottimo Massimo to figure out where he came from, and the dog leads him to the D’Ondarivas’... (full context)
Chapter 12
Coming of Age, Family, and the Individual Theme Icon
Virtue, Dignity, and Kindness Theme Icon
...in the night hearing cries that the bandit Gian dei Brughi robbed someone. Cosimo and Ottimo Massimo scour the forest looking for the bandit unsuccessfully, and townsfolk scorn Cosimo’s attempts when Cosimo... (full context)
Chapter 14
Virtue, Dignity, and Kindness Theme Icon
The Age of Enlightenment vs. The Romantic Era Theme Icon
Civilization vs. Nature Theme Icon
...for his safety, but about the possible destruction of all his paths and hiding spots. Ottimo Massimo runs away in fear and Cosimo decides to sacrifice the tree he’s in to save... (full context)
Chapter 15
Virtue, Dignity, and Kindness Theme Icon
...can survive this ordeal, and he doesn’t want to kill his uncle. He realizes that Ottimo Massimo is in the bottom of the boat and decides that all is well. The cavalier... (full context)
Coming of Age, Family, and the Individual Theme Icon
Virtue, Dignity, and Kindness Theme Icon
...his uncle floating in the sea, only his face visible above the water. Cosimo sends Ottimo Massimo into the water to rescue the cavalier avvocato. Ottimo Massimo obeys, but he returns with... (full context)
Chapter 16
Education, Connectedness, and the Written Word Theme Icon
Coming of Age, Family, and the Individual Theme Icon
Civilization vs. Nature Theme Icon
...but is embarrassed when he sees lovers enter the woods. Instead, he watches animals mate. Ottimo Massimo often courts dogs much larger than he is, and though Cosimo sees that, like Ottimo... (full context)
Chapter 20
The Age of Enlightenment vs. The Romantic Era Theme Icon
Civilization vs. Nature Theme Icon
Eventually, Cosimo becomes aware of the passing time. Ottimo Massimo is old and no longer wants to join the bloodhounds or court Great Danes. Cosimo... (full context)
Coming of Age, Family, and the Individual Theme Icon
The Age of Enlightenment vs. The Romantic Era Theme Icon
Civilization vs. Nature Theme Icon
A game warden passes below. Cosimo asks the man if he’s seen Ottimo Massimo . The man hasn’t, but asks if Cosimo caught anything good—Cosimo can hunt here now,... (full context)
Education, Connectedness, and the Written Word Theme Icon
Civilization vs. Nature Theme Icon
Cosimo waits for Ottimo Massimo until the following evening. The dog appears, wags at Cosimo as though inviting him to... (full context)
Chapter 22
Virtue, Dignity, and Kindness Theme Icon
The Age of Enlightenment vs. The Romantic Era Theme Icon
Cosimo leads Viola to the tree where he carved their names alongside Ottimo Massimo ’s. Viola is moved and when she learns that Ottimo Massimo is Turcaret, her childhood... (full context)
Chapter 23
The Age of Enlightenment vs. The Romantic Era Theme Icon
Civilization vs. Nature Theme Icon
...a way to make their love grow. He stays alone in the woods (Viola took Ottimo Massimo with her) and even Biagio has to admit that Cosimo is mad. (full context)