Summary and Analysis
Spartacus begins with an overture, and then the narrator begins talking about the Roman Republic before the birth of Christianity. Even at the best point of the Roman Empire, it was plagued by slavery. An illiterate slave woman gave birth to Spartacus, who was sold into slavery before he was fourteen. He lived out his youth dreaming of the death of slavery 2,000 years before it came about.
The audience then sees Spartacus as he struggles to carry a heavy load. When a man falls in front of him, he helps him rather than leaving him on the ground to die. After he trips, a soldier begins to whip him. Spartacus bites his ankle and is then knocked out by another soldier. Someone says that since he's done this again, it's time for him to die.
Lentulus Batiatus, the owner of a gladiatorial school, arrives and complains...