O, he is mad, Laertes.

Now why doesn’t Claudius just let Laertes kill him right then? He clearly wants to. It would be kind of justified, too. Well, not, JUSTIFIED but certainly understandable. It would be so much more easily explained to the world. Hamlet went mad, jumped in Ophelia’s grave, insulted her brother and Laertes, infuriated, killed him. Done and done.

Is he afraid Hamlet will beat Laertes in a fight and then all his hard manipulation work would be lost?

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