This is a great solution to this problem.
Would it have worked?
If Hamlet could have let Horatio interfere and kept this duel at bay, would it have prevented the tragedy that follows?
I think I’ve always liked to think so – that this is a moment where it could have been stopped – but I’m not so sure anymore. I mean, Claudius and Laertes are absolutely determined to make this happen. If Horatio managed to forestall them, it would only be for a little while. Maybe he could put it off a day – but the patriarchy and ideas of manhood being what they are, I don’t see how Hamlet could really get out of this fight easily.
It has an inevitably in it and Hamlet knows it.