What stories has Claudius told Laertes? I mean – sure – there’s the truth, which is that Hamlet killed Polonius, thinking it was the king. But this is information Claudius can only have gotten out of Hamlet himself or Gertrude. Or from intuition. Which is probably the more likely.
I mean. Hamlet has not done so much murder attempting as he would like to. And there’s not a lot for Claudius to point to. Nothing but Polonius’ death. Which, sure, maybe that’s it. But Laertes’ question here suggests that maybe Claudius has been doing some serious truth embroidery. Claudius has been sewing up a whole truth embroidery sampler for Laertes.