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In ordinary discourse, the connotation of the terms hero and heroic is positive, emotively favorable. No one would regard the question "Who are your heroes and villains?" as awkward. In most contexts the heroic implies the admirable, the praiseworthy, the ideal, a model. To suggest that a genuine villain could be a hero would normally sound like an oxymoron. Historical uses of the word center on some act of distinction or a person, often noble, sometimes even divine, who performs a service for mankind or endures extraordinary torment for the sake of the community. In its most prosaic sense, hero may refer to someone who plays the central role in a novel, play, or operation, a role that can be filled by an individual of any moral character.