In literature there are both external and internal conflicts. An external conflict involves a person against some outside entity such as another person, nature, or society. An internal conflict involves a person struggling with themselves over opposing choices, needs, or emotions. In Frank Stockton's short story "The Lady or the Tiger?" there is one external conflict and two internal conflicts. The story involves an arena where an accused person has the choice of two doors, one of which means certain death while the second holds life and marriage. The accused has an immediate internal conflict in his choice of doors. If he chooses correctly he is promptly married and might actually live happily ever after. On the other hand, if his choice is poor, he is immediately attacked and killed by a hungry tiger. Obviously this choice would cause a great deal of anxiety within the accused.
The second conflict in the story is best labeled man vs. man. The king discovers that his daughter has a lover who is far below her in social stature. Therefore the king seeks to dispose of the young man and so condemns him to the arena where he will either be killed, or married to another young woman and thus unavailable to the princess.
Finally, the princess, who is described as passionate and "semi-barbaric," seems to experience an internal conflict because she has been able to determine from which door would emerge the tiger and which door the lady. She can point to the door with the tiger and have her lover killed so he can never be possessed by another woman. Alternately, she can show mercy and point him to the door with the lady. Either way she will lose him forever and her decision is so monumental that Stockton leaves it up to the reader to decide how the princess finally will resolve her conflict.