Set in the predominantly patriarchal American society in the 1950s, All About Eve tells the story of an ambitious, young aspiring actress named Eve, who is a great fan of Margo Channing—a forty-year-old popular Broadway star. Eve might act like an adoring fan, but she actually considers Margo her competition and is ready to do almost anything to fulfill her dreams of becoming a famous stage actress. Her ambition, similar to that of Lord and Lady Macbeth, is actually the main reason why no one wants to be close to her in the end. The consequences of pursuing power and striving for fame and success, therefore, are losing the people you love, losing the respect of your friends and loved ones, and— most importantly—losing yourself and forgetting that everything has its time.
Mankiewicz also makes note of the struggles women have to go through in the male-dominated society in order to achieve their goals. Their lack of options in navigating a world ruled by men sometimes make their actions appear ruthless or inhumane.
Shakespeare's popular play Macbeth, on the other hand, teaches us that with great power comes great responsibility. Once a noble, honorable and courageous general, Macbeth's blind ambition and thirst for power transform him into a unscrupulous, villainous person—a murderer and a pawn in the witches' wicked games and his wife's schemes.
Thus, All About Eve teaches us that ambition might be a good thing to have, and it might even pay off in the end, but it comes with a cost; we must be ready to sacrifice the relationships we build with people. Macbeth teaches us that instead of helping us succeed, ambition might make us fall. The consequences of pursuing power and success may cost us everything we hold dear, as well as our morality and humanity.