As your question implies, Penelope, or rather the idea of Penelope, is a constant subtext running through Odysseus's mind and pushes him to endure increasingly arduous challenges to reach home—despite the fact that he spends a lot of time in comfortable circumstances and with beautiful women and goddesses like Circe, Nausicaa, and Calypso. With Calypso for several years, Odysseus, despite the pleasant company, longs to return to Ithaca.
When Calypso, under orders from Zeus, allows Odysseus to leave her island, she tells Odysseus that if he knew what struggles were still in store for him before he can reach home, he would stay with her. She tells him,
.however you long for that wife of yours, whom you think of day in and day out ... I am not any less attractive than she is, surely in face or figure. (5:183-185)
Odysseus, however, cannot be convinced with these arguments because the willpower that has allowed him to suffer and persevere for many years pushes him continually to return home:
(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1377 words.)