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internal conflict

noun
1.
psychological struggle within the mind of a literary or dramatic character, the resolution of which creates the plot's suspense:
Hamlet's inaction is caused by internal conflict.
2.
mental struggle arising from opposing demands or impulses.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for internal conflict
  • Only when this internal conflict is resolved will there be true peace and security.
  • But the more likely source of violence now is an internal conflict in the south.
  • Here, whatever internal conflict the characters undergo is resolved before the action starts.
  • Clothing style is more than a metaphor for the mayor, who embodied the internal conflict of nature versus nurture.
Contemporary definitions for internal conflict
noun

disagreement or fighting within an organization or entity

noun

in literature and drama, a struggle which takes place in the protagonist's mind and through which the character reaches a new understanding or dynamic change

Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
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Quotes with internal conflict