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i guess they are called like that because they are gossiping all the time,and in my opinion, salt refers to the old man because he tells the sour truth and pepper represents the gossip of the old woman. their role in the play is to give us information about the historical events as we can see in the prologue and also to comment on the behavior of the other characters.
i think because they know almost everything that goes on in the play.the old man says the reality of an issue therefore he represents salt while the old woman exaggerates issues and gives hurting remarks.
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