someone told me that sotah has an unusual interspersal (? is that a word?) of agadah and halacha - more than other masechtot. he said that the halacha of sotah was so difficult (not to understand, but rather in the sens that it relates to such awful situations) that the gemara intersspersed agadah to soften the blow. in the case of these dapim, the agadah is even more harsh than the halacha, so i don't think the first comment works. accordingly, do you have any view as to the frequent agadic material in sotah. perhaps the premise that there is more agadah here than in other cases is not accurate, but my sense (not statistics) tells me that something is going on. perhaps sotah in and of itself is a subject that requires agadah, because the halacha was designed specifically to address a sociological situation and leave an impression on the community at large. what do you think?
dmartin, raanana, eretz yisroel
I think that your first comment is innaccurate. Ta'anis and Berachos seem to have as much Agadah as Sotah (and Sanhedrin is close). Regarding your hunch, making statements such as, "the Halachah was designed specifically to address...," about any Halachah d'Oraisa risks violating fundamental principles of belief.
We know very little "Al Pi Niglah" about the arrangement of the Gemara in each Maseches. I heard from an Adam Gadol that it is accepted that all parts of the Gemara -- Halachah and Agadah -- between two Mishnayos are in some way related to the previous Mishnah. Rebbi Tzadok ha'Kohen says that all Agadah relates to the Maseches and to the name of the Perek, and he gives several examples (see Insights to Yoma 75:3).
I personally noticed that when the Mishnah digresses into Agadah or Musar (for its own reasons), the Gemara often follows suit with long Agaddic discussions (such as the end of Berachos and Yoma and many other places). The same applies to our Agados, which are based on the Mishnah's digression into Midah k'Neged Midah and such.