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Caesar's Death
Act 3,
Scene 2
Lines 170-185

An explanation of the phrase “his mantle muffling up his face” in Act 3, Scene 2 of myShakespeare’s Julius Caesar.


Look, in this place ran Cassius' dagger through.
See what a rent the envious Casca made.
Through this, the well-belovèd Brutus stabbed;
And as he plucked his cursèd steel away,
Mark how the blood of Caesar followed it,
As rushing out of doors to be resolved
If Brutus so unkindly knocked or no — 
For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel.
Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar loved him!
This was the most unkindest cut of all,
For when the noble Caesar saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms,
Quite vanquished him. Then burst his mighty heart,
And in his mantle muffling up his face,
Even at the base of Pompey's statue,
Which all the while ran blood, great Caesar fell.

According to the historical accounts, when Caesar saw that even his beloved Brutus was attacking him, he pulled his cloak ("in his mantle muffling up his face") over his head and stopped resisting. Caesar collapsed to the floor, ironically, next to the base of a statue of Pompey, whose defeat in the civil war allowed Caesar to seize power over Rome.

(The Death of Caesar, Vincenzo Camuccini, c. 1806)