There is talk of Laertes being goaded into this third round of the duel. It is as if he has been successfully trash talked and Hamlet has made him mad. Mad enough to kill him. But “say you so” is not especially fraught. It is not necessarily an angry response. It could be said that way, for sure.
To me, it is equivalent to saying, “Oh yeah?”
Which could be a furious response to an insult or just an indication that we’re both playing the game.
And in this round – nothing happens. Laertes doesn’t hit Hamlet. Hamlet makes no contact with Laertes. This round is a bust.
The kill blow happens after the round is over.
I wonder if this round gives Laertes time to think. Is he still trying to decide what to do as he plays this round?
I feel like I’ve mostly seen it with an enraged Laertes, playing too aggressively to win because he’s trying so hard to kill Hamlet.
It’s a pretty standard way to play Laertes. But a thoughtful Laertes is also possible. Say you so? I say so.