In Book 21 of Homer's The Odyssey, who controls the store room, and why does this person have control?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The wife of Odysseus, wise Penelope, the daughter of Icarius, is the one who was in control of Odysseus's treasure store room. The key was kept upstairs in Penelope's chamber. Homer describes the key, giving it significance, as bent; "goodly," which suggests large; made of bronze; and having a handle of ivory. The store room is not near the manor but removed at a far distance. It is possible that the suitors knew nothing about it's location and, therefore theoretically, could have no control over it. When Penelope, accompanied by her handmaidens, reached the store room full of Odysseus's treasures, she turned the key, which shot back the bolt, as a sure sign of one who has control and rights of entry because she was entrusted it by Odysseus.

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The Odyssey

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