In this poem, time is described to be limited. Contradictorily, the poem describes the unlimited possibilities we can do with time. In the limited time given we feel, experience and witness several different elements that create our life and who we are. What we do with our time reflects directly on who we are as a person whether it's used "talking of Michelangelo" or contemplating "a hundred indecisions." Overall, the real conflict is derived from whether we're going to regret what we do with life whether the regret comes from doing everything or doing nothing. The poem speaks a lot about pondering decisions in life and wondering "would it have been worth it, after all." The lines stating "To wonder, Do I dare? and Do I dare?/ Time to turn back and descend the stair/ With a bald spot in the middle of my hair-" represents an individual contemplating the effects of their choices so excessively that it causes them to become bald from stressing about the decision or thinking of it so long as to letting life pass them by and accomplishing nothing.
T.S. Eliot's allusion to Hamlet parallels with the message of the poem. Just as the narrator struggles with their decisions and the consequences of those decisions, Hamlet struggled with the responsibility of avenging his father's death. Thinking of the consequences caused Hamlet to second guess his confidence as he realized he was compromising his morals and values. Throughout the play tentativeness was acquired by Hamlet as he thought of whether all the chaos to occur after the murder would be worth it.
"I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker
And in short, I was afraid"
T.S. Eliot utilizes figurative language in these lines to paint an image that can be interpreted as a bump in the road that's quickly approaching its end. The narrator realizes that he never accomplished the greatness he could have achieved for fear of being judged, but (ironically) as his life is coming to an end he becomes afraid that he'll regret never doing anything for fear of regretting those actions.