I’m trying to imagine a context where asking this question this way would make sense. Like – in my case, I’m lucky in that my father is alive. The answer to where he is could be: at home, at the library, at work, downtown, etc.
But if I were to ask where my Grandfather is…
No matter which grandfather I was asking about, the answer would be the same: Arlington National Cemetery – because they are both interred there. But that’s just where their ashes are. Where is my grandfather? Gone. In heaven, if you believe in that sort of thing.
But. It’s a rough way to ask this question.
Is Laertes trying to catch Claudius out? Or hoping to hear him say “At supper. He’s chatting with some ambassador right now”
Or is he trying to ask where his father’s body is but he just can’t do it yet?