After the battle with the suitors, why does Ulysses go to see Laertes and why does he test him?
Ulysses must flee the avenging families of the suitors but first he wants to see if his father remains loyal and is able to determine Ulysses' identity so that he knows he can leave Ithaca in good hands.
Ulysses has heard from Eumaeus that Laertes has become increasingly senile and erratic in his old age. Ulysses wants to see for himself just how unstable his father has become.
Ulysses wants to test whether his father will recognize him before he reveals his identity. Afterwards, he hopes to get advice on a plan of action now that the suitors have been killed.
Ulysses wants to see if Laertes will recognize him and, if he does, to confide in him that he must go on one last journey before he will be able to live out the rest of his life peacefully in Ithaca.
Ulysses wants to see if Laertes will recognize him because he has tested all of his servants and relatives and his father is the last one to test. He hopes that Laertes will recognize him and join his side in fending off the suitors' families.